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AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Uber may closely watch Spotify's plan to go public via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO, based on comments made last summer by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and relayed in a new book by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky:

"Kalanick loves nothing more than to bat around ideas, the zanier the better. He wonders aloud to Emil Michael, his top deal-maker and fund-raiser, if Uber could go public without investment bankers. Michael, a lawyer by training, suggests instead a reverse merger... Kalanick suggests using no bankers but giving 3% of the capital raised ― the fee bankers would have received ― to charity. When I suggest giving that money instead to drivers, Kalanick lights up. He says he wants to give equity to drivers... but Uber has found the securities-law implications to be complicated."

Fast forward: That part about "using no bankers" might have sounded zany in mid-2016, but that was before Spotify made its intentions known. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal today reports that New York Stock Exchange is asking the SEC to approve a change to its listing standards so as to permit direct listings on the Big Board (thus letting it better complete with Nasdaq, which already takes direct listings).

Bottom line: If Kalanick still likes this idea, then a blueprint may be waiting by the time Uber is ready to take its public plunge.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”