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AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Uber and German automaker Daimler today announced an agreement whereby Daimler will begin producing self-driving Mercedes-Benz vehicles that will operate on Uber's global ride-sharing network.

Why it matters: This is the first time that Uber has contracted with an auto OEM to put a fleet on its rider network ― self-driving or otherwise ― and it sounds unlikely to be the last (this is a non-exclusive agreement on both sides). It also reflects a bit of strategy shift, or at least strategy broadening, from an existing program to outfit cars with Uber's self-driving "kit."Expect to see a mix going forward.

Is it unique? No. Lyft and General Motors (a major Lyft shareholder) struck a similar agreement last year.

Open questions: No word on the financial terms, nor if the agreement involves any sort of equity. We also don't know the timing of roll-out nor where initial markets will be.

Quotable: "Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars—and in fact, making cars is really hard. This became very clear to me after I visited an auto manufacturing plant and saw how much effort goes into designing, testing and building cars." ― Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

7 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.