Techmeme
June 16, 2021, 11:00 AM

Top News

New York Times:
Biden names Lina Khan, an antitrust expert who wrote the “Amazon Antitrust Paradox”, as FTC chair, after the Senate voted 69-28 to confirm her as commissioner  —  Ms. Khan, who first attracted notice as a critic of Amazon, was confirmed by the Senate as a commissioner on the agency on Tuesday.
Rolfe Winkler / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: some of Apple's healthcare efforts, including a pilot primary healthcare service with Apple-employed doctors, have stalled due to internal concerns  —  Tech giant has envisioned hiring doctors to offer primary care, now focused on Watch  —  Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify launches Spotify Greenroom, a new app that allows Spotify users worldwide to join or host live audio rooms, and turn those conversations into podcasts  —  In March, Spotify announced it was acquiring the company behind the sports-focused audio app Locker Room to help speed its entry into the live audio market.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Ahead of Microsoft's event to unveil the next gen of Windows, a Windows 11 build leaks, showing a revamped UI, like a new taskbar with centered app icons, more  —  Screenshots have leaked online  —  Screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system have appeared online today.
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
Waymo raises $2.5B from Alphabet, a16z, Tiger Global, and others, to advance its autonomous driving tech and grow its team  —  - Google sibling company Waymo announced a $2.5 billion investment round Wednesday, which will go toward advancing its autonomous driving technology and growing its team.
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:
Overview of House lawmakers' recent antitrust-focused bills, which target consumer tech giants, vary in radicalness, and at times conflict with each other  —  From the Wall Street Journal:  —  These bills are the ultimate outcome of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust's investigation …
Anna Edgerton / Bloomberg:
At a Senate antitrust hearing, Amazon and Google defended their smart home device businesses from criticism by Democrats and Republicans  —  Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Amazon.com Inc. defended their smart-speaker businesses as U.S. senators warned the grip the companies have over the market could harm competition and consumer privacy.
Bloomberg:
Japan Display, which sold its smartphone screen factory last year, is pivoting to VR; LCDs are projected to dominate the VR headset market over the next 5 years  —  - Superseded on mobile, LCDs can better compete with OLED in VR  — JDI believes headset business could grow into a linchpin
David Cohen / Adweek:
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Novo, a neobank targeting small businesses, raises $40.7M Series A led by Valar Ventures  —  Small businesses have traditionally been underserved when it comes to IT — they are too big and have too many requirements that can't be met by consumer products, yet are much too small to afford …
More: FinSMEs
Wall Street Journal:
Alibaba's Taobao was clandestinely scraped by a web crawler for 8 months, leading to a leak of 1.1B pieces of user data, including user IDs and phone numbers  —  Software developer scrapes 1.1 billion pieces of user data, including IDs and phone numbers, over eight months
Daphne Leprince-Ringuet / ZDNet:
IBM unveils the Quantum System One, its first quantum computer physically built outside of the US, in Germany in partnership with research institute Fraunhofer  —  Big Blue has, for the first time, built a quantum computer that is not physically located in its US data centers.
Alex Hern / The Guardian:
Amazon blames social media companies for its failure to remove fake reviews, saying they are slow to act when warned about such reviews  —  Firm says sites are slow to act when warned that fake reviews are being solicited on their platforms  —  Amazon has blamed social media companies …
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Introhive, which offers SaaS tools to automate CRM, raises $100M Series C led by equity firm PSG, bringing its total raised to $140M+  —  Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.  —  Introhive, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer relationship management …
More: TechCrunch
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
BrowserStack, a cross-browser website testing service for DevOps, raises $200M Series B led by BOND, at a $4B valuation  —  Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.  —  BrowserStack, a website testing platform for developer operations (DevOps) teams …
Hayden Field / Morning Brew:
Sources detail Airbnb's failures to prioritize anti-discrimination outside of talking points, including its Smart Pricing algorithm, which widened inequalities  —  Sources say the company prioritizes anti-discrimination in its talking points, but not in its spending.
Bloomberg:
Amazon's planned new African HQ, located in Cape Town, has met with fierce resistance and protests by indigenous people, with 50,000 objections  —  - Khoisan group trying to stop building of $291 million project  — City of Cape Town says venture will add jobs, boost economy
Eduardo Thomson / Bloomberg:
Chile-based Betterfly, which lets companies offer digital benefits to reward healthy habits, raises $60M from SoftBank and others at a $300M valuation  —  - Health insurance tech start-up raises $60 million, CEO says  — Other investors include QED, Valor Capital and Endeavor

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More News

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Earlier Picks

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Mitchell Clark / The Verge:
Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac: