Amazon to Lay Off Nearly 10,000 Employees ✂️
Scott D. Clary | Daily Business, Tech & Finance Newsletter
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Here’s whats happening:
- Amazon to lay off nearly 10,000 employees
- Google to pay $392 million to settle a privacy lawsuit
- Visa ends debit card program with FTX
- Quix, a real-time data startup, secured Series A funding
- U.S. Travelers to get $600 million in airline refund
Amazon to Lay Off Nearly 10,000 Employees ✂️
E-commerce giant Amazon is planning to lay off around 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week.
- The job cuts will reportedly focus on the company’s devices unit, which houses voice-assistant Alexa, as well as its retail division and human resources.
- Amazon had around 1.6 million full-time and part-time employees as of December 2021 and had recently announced a hiring freeze for corporate roles for the next several months.
- However, the company is now laying off around 10,000 employees, which represent less than 1% of its global workforce. This layoff would be the largest job cut in Amazon’s history.
The bigger picture:
The latest move from Amazon comes after it had already announced plans to freeze hiring for corporate roles in its retail business.
In recent months, the e-commerce giant has taken several measures to cut costs and increase its profits, which include shutting down underperforming brick-and-mortar chains, closing its telehealth service, and closing some warehouse locations, among other measures.
Google to Pay $392 Million to Settle a Privacy Lawsuit ⚖
Google has agreed to settle a landmark privacy case with 40 U.S. states over allegations that the company continued to track user location data even after they had turned off location history in settings.
- A coalition of attorney generals from 40 states opened an investigation into how Google silently tracked users’ locations across its various services on iPhone and Android devices.
- The lawsuit accuses that from 2014 to 2019, Google misled users into thinking their location had been switched off and would then use that information to sell personalized ads.
- To end the privacy lawsuit brought by 40 state attorneys general, Google has to pay $392 million.
As part of the latest settlement, Google has also agreed to make additional changes to clarify its location tracking practices.
The search engine giant is now required to alert users when location tracking is enabled, as well as provide information on how to turn off the feature starting in 2023.
Visa Ends Debit Card Program With FTX
Payment giant Visa has reportedly terminated its agreement with debt-ridden cryptocurrency exchange FTX less than a month after introducing a new debit card program.
Here are the details:
- Last month, Visa announced a partnership with crypto exchange FTX to launch account-linked Visa debit cards in 40 new countries, allowing users to seamlessly convert and pay for goods & services with the crypto balance in their FTX wallets.
- The partnership aimed at expanding the debit card program to Latin America, Asia, and Europe after its introduction to US customers.
- However, Visa has abruptly terminated the agreement due to FTX’s recent insolvency and bankruptcy issues.
Statement from Visa:
“The situation with FTX is unfortunate, and we are monitoring developments closely. In all our undertakings — in digital currency and beyond — our focus on security and trust remains paramount. We have terminated our global agreements with FTX, and their US debit card program is being wound down by their issuer.”
Quix, A Real-Time Data Startup Secured Series A Funding 💰
Quix, a platform that is designed to handle high volumes of real-time data, has raised $12.9 million in its Series A funding round.
The funding was led by London-based VC MMC Ventures, along with participation from existing investors Project A Ventures and Passion Capital.
What will Quix do with the funding?
This fresh capital will help Quix to simplify event-driven data engineering so that more companies can build modern data-intensive apps.
Founded in 2020, Quix has a modular architecture that allows users to choose their own choice of cloud vendor, infrastructure, and other technology when coding their apps.
The platform helps data engineers manage the ever-greater volume and velocity of data.
U.S. Travelers to Get $600 Million in Airline Refunds 💸
Frontier Airlines and five foreign carriers have been asked to pay nearly $600 million in refunds to consumers whose flights were canceled or significantly delayed by the airlines.
This historic enforcement action comes after the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) slapped a collective fine of $7.5 million against six airlines for delaying refunds.
In addition to the government fines, the six airlines — Frontier, Aeromexico, Air India, TAP Portugal, El Al, and Avianca have to refund $600 million to thousands of U.S. passengers who had their flights significantly changed or canceled since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
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