Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. A judge approved the $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The decision is a blow for the Department of Justice, which argued that allowing such a merger would hurt consumers.
2. In an effort to make Tesla profitable, Elon Musk announced he would lay off 9% of Tesla’s workforce. The layoffs will not affect production-line workers as the company ramps up Model 3 production.
3. Apple seems to be trying to stop app developers sharing information on users’ friends. The company updated its App Store rules to ban developers from making databases using people’s contact information.
4. Just weeks after a $150 million funding round, electric scooter-sharing startup Bird is reportedly raising again and seeking a $2 billion valuation. “[Venture capitalists] have never before participated in such a rapid and rocketing price spike,” Axios reporter Dan Primack wrote.
5. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the New York Post on Monday that New York City should impose a fee on Uber rides to help taxi drivers. The admission comes as taxi drivers in the city have been struggling as the value of medallions has plummeted — mostly due to ride-hailing apps like Uber.
6. Nintendo presented at video game conference E3 on Tuesday. The company made some big announcements, including that a new Super Smash Bros. game will be released December 7 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.
7. Seattle’s city council voted to repeal a new tax on large employers in the city, after Amazon threatened to halt construction of two towers. Amazon is one of the city’s biggest employers and a vocal critic of the tax.
8. Reddit is rolling out native video ads that will automatically play without sound. Nintendo, Netflix, and Audi have all bought into the new format.
9. Senate Democrats and Republicans are working to undo a deal that saved Chinese phonemaker ZTE. They’re planning to add a provision to a defence policy bill that would ban US suppliers from selling to ZTE.
10. Kim Kardashian said she personally lobbied Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for an edit button for tweets. Currently there’s no edit function for sent tweets — instead, users must delete tweets with typos or errors and start again.
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