Techmeme
March 26, 2021, 2:20 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is working on a rugged “Explorer Edition” Watch aimed at athletes and to be used in more extreme environments, for a late 2021 or 2022 launch  —  - Company discusses new model to target different watch buyers  — Device may debut later in 2021 or 2022 at the earliest
Brian Fung / CNN:
At the hearing, lawmakers accused CEOs of being evasive and condescending; CEOs seemed barely able to restrain their exasperation with gotcha yes/no questions  —  Washington (CNN Business)The chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter faced withering criticism from members of Congress …
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
House tech hearing revealed unorganized lawmakers who conflated issues of competition, privacy, and moderation, and were unable to move past personal grievances  —  It's time to move past listening and into legislating  —  This story is part of a group of stories called
Energy And Commerce Committee / YouTube:
Recording of House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on platform misinformation with Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey  —  The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce …
Maureen Farrell / Wall Street Journal:
WeWork to merge with a SPAC in a deal that would raise $1.3B and values the company at $9B  —  Planned merger with the BowX Acquisition would value WeWork at $9 billion including debt  —  WeWork has agreed to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the matter …
Ken Klippenstein / The Intercept:
Internal Amazon documents show Amazon was aware of the practice of employees using pee bottles, identifying it as a “Tier 1” infraction that can lead to firing  —  In anticipation of Sen. Bernie Sanders's scheduled trip to Bessemer, Alabama, to support the unionization drive …
Owen Thomas / Protocol:
Stewart Butterfield says Slack will introduce audio messages and a Clubhouse-like feature that will allow users to drop into rooms without an invitation  —  Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said on Clubhouse that Clubhouse-like additions will soon be coming to the app.
Patrick Howell O'Neill / MIT Technology Review:
Google said it has shut down a hacking operation in January but, sources say, didn't disclose that it was an active counter-terrorism operation by a US ally  —  The decision to block an “expert” level cyberattack has caused controversy inside Google after it emerged that the hackers in question were working for a US ally.
Wayne Ma / The Information:
Apple's App Store has been hosting 12+ apps run by a US-sanctioned paramilitary organization in China's Xinjiang region; Apple says the apps comply with US law  —  Apple's App Store has been distributing more than a dozen apps created by a Chinese organization sanctioned by the U.S …
Insider:
YouTube has temporarily suspended monetization for three channels operated by David Dobrik following a rape allegation against a former Vlog Squad member  —  - YouTube is temporarily blocking David Dobrik and Durte Dom from making money off ads.  — The company said it demonetized …
Jane Chung / Public Citizen:
Analysis of Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon US lobbying: $124M spent on lobbying and campaign donations during 2020 cycle; Facebook and Google are top spenders  —  An updated analysis of the rise in lobbying and campaign contributions from the Big Tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Microsoft is in exclusive talks to acquire Discord for $10B+ and could complete the deal next month  —  Deal valuing chat app at $10 billion or more could be completed next month  —  Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire messaging platform Discord Inc. for $10 billion or more …
Ryan Browne / CNBC:
Crypto analytics startup Chainalysis raises $100M Series D led by Paradigm, at a valuation of $2B+, four months after raising $100M Series C at a $1B valuation  —  - Chainalysis, a start-up that sells blockchain data analytics tools, has doubled its valuation to $2 billion in a new investment round.
Chris Metinko / Crunchbase News:
Ease, which makes cloud-based software to help SMBs provide employee benefits, raises $41M Series C, bringing its total raised to $70M  —  San Francisco-based benefits software developer Ease raised a $41 million Series C to help aid small and medium-sized businesses in providing benefits to their employees.
More: ForbesTweets: @gregbensinger
Arjun Kharpal / CNBC:
H&M removed from Chinese e-commerce sites and mapping apps after its statement last year on forced labor in Xinjiang resurfaced and caused a backlash on Weibo  —  - H&M faced backlash on Chinese social media service Weibo over a statement reportedly from last year in which the retailer said it was …

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