DealBook Briefing: Why the Starbucks Bias Training Matters

DealBook Briefing: Why the Starbucks Bias Training Matters

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The context: Italy will have another election, one that could turn into a referendum on whether it stays in the euro. Rating agencies are worried.

Critics’ corner: The problem with problems like this in Europe is that they’re allowed to drag on, Peter Eavis argues.

Europe has a tough new data law. No, not G.D.P.R.

All eyes have been on the E.U.’s sweeping new digital privacy rules. But an even stricter set of laws known as ePrivacy — meant to come in at the same time as the General Data Protection Regulation, but slowed down by disagreements among officials — could give tech companies still larger headaches.

More from Natasha Singer of the NYT:

The legislation currently provides only one condition under which a company may use data or metadata about users’ electronic communications: obtaining consumers’ explicit and informed permission to use their information for a specific, agreed-upon purpose. The bill also requires companies to offer people the same communications services whether or not they agree to have their data collected.

Unsurprisingly, companies and trade associations are trying to derail those rules.

Elsewhere in E.U. privacy news: G.D.P.R. will force companies to be more upfront about the extent of cyber attacks. But it could also get in the way of security researchers and law enforcers. (Bonus: the “I Love G.D.P.R.” playlist that’s all over Spotify.)

The political flyaround

• Stormy Daniels’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is said to be slowing down the federal investigation into Michael Cohen. (WSJ)

• The U.S. has reportedly signaled willingness to settle with Europe over a recent W.T.O. ruling on subsidies to Airbus. But don’t expect the two sides to agree about steel tariffs anytime soon.

• Britain’s Treasury and the Bank of England are reportedly at odds over how to regulate financial services after Brexit. (FT)

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• The Department of Homeland Security plans to eliminate the international entrepreneur program, which is supposed to let immigrant start-up founders stay in the U.S. for up to five years. (TechCrunch)

Photo Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida. Credit Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Congress doesn’t want to go easy on ZTE

The White House may be exploring ways to lift penalties on the Chinese telecom company, but Congress appears opposed to any such leniency. Senator Marco Rubio said on Sunday that a veto-proof supermajority of lawmakers would back a ban on ZTE and peers like Huawei.

Much rides on the fight. Beijing is reportedly finally ready to approve Qualcomm’s $44 billion acquisition of fellow chip maker NXP Semiconductors — if the ZTE ban is lifted.

Behind the scenes: Critics suggest President Trump’s desire to go easy on ZTE may contain an element of self-interest — Beijing granted Ivanka Trump several trademarks right around the time the White House announced its plans.

Photo Adam Neumann, WeWork’s co-founder and C.E.O. Credit Peter Prato for The New York Times
Silicon Valley founders still want total control

A new generation of tech entrepreneurs shows little sign of giving up the kinds of dual-class shares that let Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page keep a grip on their companies. Some are seizing even more power, say Rolfe Winkler and Maureen Farrell of the WSJ, giving WeWork as an example:

C.E.O. Adam Neumann, who has 65 percent voting control, is one of two members of his board’s compensation committee, along with longtime company investor Benchmark, according to WeWork’s recent bond-offering documents.

Venture capitalists have surrendered some oversight of many companies they’ve invested in just to maintain relationships with them.

The deals flyaround

• Verizon and others have reportedly asked several times whether the Redstones might sell CBS. (WSJ)

• The owner of Pret A Manger sold the British sandwich chain to JAB Holdings, the deal-hungry food conglomerate, for £1.5 billion (about $2 billion). (FT)

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• SoftBank has ended talks about potentially investing in Swiss Re. (AP)

• The software maker Verint is reportedly close to a deal to buy NSO, an Israeli cybersecurity company, for about $1 billion. (WSJ)

• The C.E.O.s of big European banks think that they might need to merge to stay competitive. (FT)

• A flood of start-ups is poised to go public in Hong Kong, but they may have a hard time hitting their expected valuations. (Bloomberg Opinion)

A mind-control start-up (really) raises $28 million

CTRL-Labs, a three-year-old start-up whose co-founders include the creator of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, has a vision of how humans could one day interact with computers: It’s making an armband that reads electrical impulses sent from users’ brains to their fingers. And it has some heavyweight investors. In this round: Lux Capital and Google’s GV venture arm, as well as Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and Amazon’s Alexa Fund.

The big question: DealBook saw a demo of the device, where users played Asteroids by just thinking. But brain-computer interfaces are notoriously hard to push out of prototype. Can CTRL-Labs do it? And will developers and consumers buy in if they can?

The tech flyaround

• Intel is reportedly being investigated over age-discrimination claims. (WSJ)

• Hackers may have stolen personal details of 90,000 customers at two big Canadian banks. (Reuters)

• What will help Apple hit its $1 trillion market cap? Maybe not the iPhone. (FT)

• Airbus is creating a division devoted to futuristic transport like flying taxis. (Bloomberg)

• Robots, smart lighting, and AI assistants. Not your home, but the operating room of the future. (WSJ)

• How JPMorgan Chase is seeking ways to work with cryptocurrency hacker types. (Fortune)

• The FBI asks that you turn your router off, then on again. (NYT)

Continue reading the main story Quote of the Day

“It’s just not going to happen.”

— Troy Taylor, the C.E.O. of Coca-Cola’s bottler in Florida, on whether the U.S. would see broad-based wage rises again.

The speed read

• After eight years of budget-cutting, Britain looks less like the rest of Western Europe and more like the U.S., with a shrinking welfare state and growing poverty. (NYT)

• Government investigators found that executives of Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, concealed information about opioid abuse. (NYT)

• What unites Barron’s 30 best C.E.O.s? The cloud, and smart buyouts. (Barron’s)

• Think big banks have given up on coal? Nope. (NYT)

• Graduate applications for bank jobs are soaring, even at Deutsche Bank. (FT)

• De Beers hopes lab-grown diamonds will help it break into mass-market jewelry. (NYT)

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