Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes called for the breakup of his former company and argued that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has too much power, in an opinion piece for the New York Times.In a subsequent interview with NBC News, Hughes said he wasn’t sure if he and Zuckerberg would remain friends.
- Actually breaking Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram up into different businesses would be extremely difficult, legal experts have argued. One said: “They have to make the case that Facebook is acting in an anticompetitive manner.”
- Facebook said breaking up a ‘successful American company’ isn’t the right approach to accountability. Instead, the company argued, the government should introduce better and more up-to-date regulation.
- Uber will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, and has priced its IPO at the low end of its range at $US45 a share. The price reportedly gives Uber a valuation of around $US82 billion, considerably lower than its earlier ambitions of at least a $US100 billion valuation.
- Uber has settled thousands of driver complaints ahead of its float, setting aside at least $US146 million to cover costs. The ride-hailing firm continues to face legal challenges over the status of its drivers, who it classifies as independent contractors.
- Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, unveiled on Thursday a giant lunar lander concept by his spaceflight company, Blue Origin. Called “Blue Moon,” the lander is designed to deliver a variety of sizes and types of payloads to the moon’s surface, with the eventual goal of establishing what the company calls a “sustained human presence” on the moon.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is running for president in 2020, celebrated Chris Hughes’ call to break up Facebook. She tweeted: “Today’s big tech companies have too much power-over our economy, our society, & our democracy. They have bulldozed competition, used our private info for profit, hurt small businesses & stifled innovation. It’s time to #BreakUpBigTech.”
- At least half a dozen employees have left the enterprise startup Intercom over allegations that its CEO Eoghan McCabe acted inappropriately with female staff, according to The Information. Sources told Business Insider that the company has launched a new internal investigation into the claims.
- The microbiome-testing company uBiome is seeking to reassure investors after placing its founders on leave on the heels of an FBI raid. A letter from the company’s interim CEO, John Rakow, reveals that beyond the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and “several other US and California governmental agencies” were involved in the April 26 search.
- An app that billed itself as a way of creating memories collected millions of people’s photos, then used that data to develop facial recognition tools. According to an investigation by NBC News, photo app Ever offered its tech to private companies and the military.
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