Hatch Weekly: Biggest fine ever (Facebook is fine with it)

Facebook and Wall Street are fine with fines

Word on the street is that Facebook is getting hit with a fine between $3 billion and $5 billion for privacy violations. No sweat, right Zuck? Regulation might hurt, but even Zuckerberg himself believes that it’s necessary to start getting things right, particularly after the negative publicity surrounding the Christchurch shootings.

FB showed us the money

Despite news of the massive fine, Wall Street didn’t bat an eyelid, and Facebook (FB) shares jumped from roughly $183 dollars a share to $192 on the day of the announcement. Wall Street might be thinking that Facebook sending a big cheque and a bigger sorry to the regulators will be enough to fend off any impact to their bottom line. A $3 billion fine is a blip for a company that made $15 billion in the first quarter, a 26% jump over the same period last year. In case you’ve forgotten, this is all happening because of that time when Facebook shared the personal information of tens of millions of people with an outside app developer, who then sold it on to Cambridge Analytica. Oops. The $3-5 billion fine will be the largest one levied against a tech company ever, easily beating the $22 million fine Google was hit with back in 2012.

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No more tweets for Tesla

Kind of. But to tweet or not to tweet is the least of Elon’s problems, considering his company announced a $702 million loss in the first quarter of 2019. But at least he doesn’t have to cut another cheque to the SEC for his tweeting habits.

The SEC says shush

Elon and federal regulators recently agreed to amend a settlement deal approved last October. The updated agreement outlines a plethora of topics Musk can’t tweet, that is unless he gets pre-approval from an experienced securities lawyer. Cute. This means Elon can’t talk about Tesla's (TSLA) financial condition, any potential mergers, production numbers, sales or deliveries, and new or proposed business lines. That doesn’t leave him with much to chat about! However, it’s up to Musk himself to decide when his tweets need to get that pre-approval. He may be a genius, but we all know that his judgement can get cloudy every now and then (especially when he’s smoking pot). With deliveries being lower than expected – the SEC just might be the babysitter Elon needs.

Back to the future

Despite any setbacks, Elon is still looking forward and announced that Tesla is planning to launch a robotaxi network in 2020. Hmm, looks like more competition for Uber, who is looking to IPO next month. Besides challenging Uber and Lyft in the autonomous ride-sharing space, Tesla also shared its new “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) computer that has already started shipping in new Model 3, S and X models. Tesla will also start offering retrofits to current Tesla owners in the next few months. While the new FSD hardware is impressive, it doesn’t necessarily provide a compelling advantage for the company, and it’s unclear how it’ll solve the challenge of building a safer, more useful or affordable self-driving car.

Puber? Payber? PayPal and Uber are totally dating

Uber’s recent announcement that it’s looking for an IPO valuation of up to $90bn came with the added drama-bomb that PayPal (PYPL) is investing $500m in the company.

Uber’s got game

Uber and PayPal aren’t divulging much detail about the investment, but both CEOs have said the same thing: that it’s about “future commercial payment collaborations, including the development of Uber’s digital wallet.” The deal gives Uber significant financial padding going into its public listing, which is a good thing considering its recent loss of $1 billion in the last quarter alone. As for PayPal, it’s clear they’re working on building the next stage of their financial services empire. In March, PayPal made its most significant investment to date by putting $750 million into Argentina’s MercadoLibre, an e-commerce giant that acts as a kind of eBay of Latin America. PayPal’s strategy seems to be about building its network beyond what it can grow on its own, by catching a ride on other high-growth companies. Well played.

UberPal: it could be a thing (just needs a better name)

PayPal is Uber’s leading payment provider in the US and Australia, and it's likely that this deal will influence further global distribution. PayPal also wants to help Uber build its own efforts in the payments space: Uber Cash, a digital wallet that lets users top up Uber accounts with money that they can use on Uber services. It’s not clear how the two will work together on this, but one thing is clear, we’ll be keeping an eye on PYPL and Uber.

Other interesting stuff

Which Tech Company Is Uber Most Like? Its Answer May Surprise You
Apple Cracks Down on Apps That Fight iPhone Addiction
Inside the Team at Facebook That Dealt with the Christchurch Shooting
Regulating Facebook will be one of the greatest challenges in human history
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