After revealing that it paid hackers $100,000 to keep quiet about stealing the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers, Uber is facing at least three potential class-action lawsuits and separate investigations by the attorneys general of New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois. Uber said it also has been in contact with the Federal Trade Commission.
The legal actions against Uber come as the beleaguered ride-hailing company is still reeling from high-profile sexual harassment complaints and ongoing federal probes of possible bribery, theft of trade secrets and discriminatory pricing.
Uber waited more than a year to disclose the massive data breach. Hackers accessed the names, email addresses and phone numbers of millions of passengers, and about 600,000 drivers’ license numbers were compromised. Adding to concerns about the delay in notifying the public, elected officials and security experts are scrutinizing Uber’s decision to pay a ransom to the hackers in exchange for deleting the stolen data and keeping the incident secret.
— Hamza Shaban
Dish Network and CBS agreed to a new multiyear contract, ending a blackout that would have left millions of satellite-TV subscribers without the nation’s most-watched network and its popular football programming.
The agreement, which does not include online channels on Dish’s Sling TV, allows Dish to use CBS content in various U.S. cities, according to a statement late Thursday. No financial details were revealed. CBS and its local stations in 18 cities were pulled from Dish’s service late Monday after failing to agree on a price that Dish would pay to carry the broadcast network.
Media companies and pay-TV providers are tussling over how to split revenue from cable and satellite customers as subscriptions decline. Dish has lost 468,000 TV subscribers this year as consumers switch to streaming options such as Netflix. CBS has fared better, with revenue up 1.3 percent as fees from viewers and deals to license programs have more than offset falling audience ratings and ad sales.
The standoff occurred at one of the year’s most popular viewing times, featuring big college football games throughout the Thanksgiving weekend and an NFL doubleheader Sunday.
— Bloomberg News
The net worth of Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos climbed above $100 billion Friday as shares in his online retail giant surged on optimism over holiday sales.
Bezos’s ascent marks the first time anyone has crossed the $100 billion threshold since Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates did it in 1999, according to Bloomberg News, whose Billionaire’s Index follows the real-time net worth of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
Amazon shares were up 2.5 percent to $1,186 at Friday’s 1 p.m. market close. Stock exchanges closed early Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Amazon shares are up more than 58 percent this year, consequently boosting Bezos’s wealth.
Bezos, 53, is the owner of The Washington Post. His wealth, largely based on his Amazon holdings, began the year around $65 billion. Amazon’s rise followed Friday’s broad market push that saw the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index reach a record at 2602.
— Thomas Heath
China’s new plan to slash import taxes on a wide range of consumer goods promises to boost the prospects of multinationals in the Chinese market, with items as varied as Procter & Gamble’s diapers and Diageo’s whiskey becoming more affordable to local consumers.
Tariffs for 187 product categories will drop from an average 17.3 percent to 7.7 percent after the cut takes effect Dec. 1, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement Friday, citing the need to help consumers obtain high-quality and specialty products that are not widely produced locally.
— Bloomberg News