a judge threw it out. The companies were also stymied in Massachusetts. But without the threat of federal enforcement, their state-by-state approach got legislation passed this year in Washington, Georgia and Alabama.

Ms. Moore said she was pessimistic about Mr. Biden’s following through on his promises.

“That was certainly the hope,” she said. “I’m old enough to learn that you can’t pin all your hopes on any one politician.”

Kate Conger contributed reporting.

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A Who’s Who of Silicon Valley Lawyers Up for the Musk-Twitter Trial

Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, got a subpoena. So did Marc Andreessen, a prominent venture capitalist. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chairman, and the investors David Sacks and Joe Lonsdale received them, too.

They were all summoned to share what they know about the rancorous, knock-down, drag-out tech spectacle of the year: the fight between Twitter and Elon Musk, the world’s richest man.

Mr. Musk enthusiastically agreed to buy Twitter in April for $44 billion, but has since tried to back out of the blockbuster deal, leading to lawsuits and recriminations. Both sides are set for a showdown in Delaware Chancery Court in October over whether Mr. Musk needs to stick with the acquisition. The torrent of legal demands in the case has forced a who’s who of Silicon Valley to now lawyer up, creating a heyday for top-tier law firms.

unsolicited bid worth more than $40 billion for the social network, saying he wanted to make Twitter a private company and allow people to speak more freely on the service.

Of the two sides, Twitter has so far been more aggressive in the discovery process for the case. The company has issued more than 84 subpoenas to uncover discussions that might prove that Mr. Musk soured on the acquisition because the economic downturn decreased his personal wealth. (Mr. Musk’s net worth still stands at $259 billion, according to Bloomberg.)

Twitter has sent subpoenas to Mr. Musk’s friends and associates, such as the former SpaceX board member Antonio Gracias and the entertainment executive Kristina Salen, to get insight into their group chats. The company has also summoned investors like Mr. Andreessen and Mr. Ellison, who agreed to pony up money so Mr. Musk could do the deal.

Mr. Musk himself has agreed to sift through every text he sent or received between Jan. 1 and July 8 for messages relevant to Twitter. His side’s subpoena total stands at more than 36 — including one to Mr. Dorsey — as Mr. Musk tries to show that Twitter lied about the number of inauthentic accounts on its platform, which he has cited as a reason to pull out of the deal.

Mr. Musk has demanded voluminous data from Twitter, including correspondence among its board members and years of account information. Last Thursday, the court granted Mr. Musk a limited set of 9,000 accounts that Twitter audited to determine how many bots were on the platform during a particular quarter. He has also subpoenaed the company’s bankers, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.

But Mr. Musk has also shown his unhappiness over Twitter’s attempts to obtain his group chats. This month, his lawyers tried limiting the company’s inquiries, saying they did not plan to turn over messages from “friends and acquaintances with whom Mr. Musk may have had passing exchanges regarding Twitter.”

tweeted.

Mr. Sacks, another friend of Mr. Musk’s who worked with him at PayPal, responded to a subpoena from Twitter with a tweet that included an image of a Mad magazine cover featuring a giant middle finger.

In a court filing on Friday, Mr. Sacks’s lawyers, who filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, said he had produced 90 documents for Twitter so far. They accused the company of “harassing” Mr. Sacks and creating “significant” legal bills for him by subpoenaing him in California and Delaware.

A lawyer for Mr. Sacks did not respond to a request for comment.

Kathaleen McCormick, the judge overseeing the case, has largely waved off Mr. Musk’s objections about the subpoenas to his friends. Mr. Musk’s conduct in discovery “has been suboptimal,” and his requests for years of data were “absurdly broad” she wrote in rulings last week.

“Defendants cannot refuse to respond to a discovery request because they have unilaterally deemed the request irrelevant,” Ms. McCormick wrote. “Even assuming that Musk has many friends and family members, Defendants’ breadth, burden, and proportionality arguments ring hollow.”

Ed Zimmerman, a lawyer who represents start-ups and venture capitalists, said it wasn’t surprising that Silicon Valley techies appeared unwilling to be drawn into the case. The venture industry has long operated with little regulatory oversight. Investors have only begrudgingly become more accustomed to legal processes as their industry has fallen under more scrutiny, he said.

“Venture for so long has been very accustomed to being an outsider thing,” he said. “We didn’t have to focus on following all the rules, and there wasn’t that much litigation.”

For law firms, Mr. Musk’s battle with Twitter has become a bonanza — especially financially.

“I’m sure they’re all hiring fancy high-end law firms,” Mr. Melkonian said. “Those guys are going to charge thousands of dollars per hour for preparation.”

That’s if you can find a lawyer at all. Between Mr. Musk and Twitter, they have sewn up a passel of top law firms.

Twitter has hired five law firms with expertise in corporate disputes and Delaware law: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Potter Anderson & Corroon; Ballard Spahr; Kobre & Kim; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Mr. Musk has retained a team of four firms: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan; Chipman Brown Cicero & Cole; and Sheppard Mullin.

Other leading tech law firms — including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Perkins Coie, Baker McKenzie, and Fenwick & West — declined to comment, citing conflicts in the case.

Lawyers sitting on the sidelines probably feel left out, Mr. Zimmerman said. “If I were a trial lawyer in San Francisco, with a specialty of dealing with venture funds and the growth companies they invest in, there ought to be that FOMO,” he said, referring to the shorthand for the “fear of missing out.”

For those who have been tapped, the next several months are likely to be chaotic.

“For people who do this work, this is what we live for,” said Karen Dunn, a litigator for tech companies who has represented Apple and Uber, and who is not involved in the Twitter case. “It moves incredibly fast, it is all consuming.”

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Why Are Layoffs On The Rise?

Companies are beginning to lay off employees, and are in a hiring freeze amid inflation and an upcoming recession.

Two words have dominated the news cycle in 2022.  

Both have major impacts on your wallet; inflation and recession. 

“Fed chair Jay Powell has made it clear that he wants to substantially curb the rate of inflation. But there are some concerns that the fed could overreact and end up tipping the economy into a recession,” said PBS. 

Recessions are significant because they can limit pay raises, start hiring freezes and increase the possibility of layoffs. 

Companies are already reacting to the uncertainty of the economy.   

“There’s been an uptick in tech company layoffs in recent months. And hiring has slowed amid economic downturn predictions,” said CBS.  

Several major companies are downsizing by laying off hundreds – even thousands of employees.  

Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, laid off about 200 corporate workers. 

Netflix has already cut 450 jobs.  

JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., has let go of 1,000 employees, and online car dealer Carvana has let go of 2,500 employees.   

Career Karma, Go-Puff, 7-Eleven, Victoria’s Secret, Re-Max, Tesla, and Rivian are some of the other companies that have already submitted pink slips to many of their workers. 

“In a rising interest rate environment, a lot of these businesses are going to make less money and therefore there’s going to be less of a bonus pool to spread around,” said CNBC. 

Some company executives are saying the layoffs are in preparation for an impending recession. 

In June, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sent a memo to his staff announcing the reduction of the team by 18% to “stay healthy during this economic downturn.”  

Some economists blame the layoffs on the slowing of business growth while labor costs increase.  

For the auto industry, shortages of semiconductor chips and skyrocketing car prices have left automakers like Ford rethinking their approach. 

Bloomberg reports Ford is preparing to cut as many as 8,000 jobs as it shifts investments toward electric vehicles.  

For other companies, the layoffs stemmed from the opportunity to boom during the pandemic.  

Peloton, which started its layoffs in February, has had to backpedal after its quick success, when gyms were closed in 2020. 

The company has eliminated about 3,000 jobs since, according to NPR. 

In Silicon Valley, some tech companies hired intensely during the pandemic and are now unable to meet venture capitalists’ financial expectations.  

According to an analysis by Crunchbase, as of July nearly 420 startups have gone through layoffs, with thousands of U.S. tech workers impacted.  

“Software development job postings have been in decline, but that being said, they remain much higher than their pre-pandemic base line,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist with Indeed Hiring Lab.

Some economists are more pessimistic and warn these layoffs are just the beginning.  

Steve Sarracino is the founder and partner at Activant Capital.

“They’re going to be shocking, and we’ve seen Meta and Facebook freeze hiring, the same with Uber and this will be in the millions of people in the next 12 to 24 months. This is just beginning,” Sarracino said.  

Others say employers may not go as far as layoffs with a job market that remains strong, and unemployment at historic lows.  

528,000 jobs were added in July, according to the Labor Department, while the unemployment rate stayed at 3.5%.  

“We are going from a very strong labor market, to a strong one. A good analogy is just kind of turning the temperature down. Where it’s 100 degrees and you’re maybe shifting to 93 degrees. It’s still hot. It’s still a strong labor market,” Koncal said. 

While economic uncertainty grows, so do employees’ concerns over job security. 

A survey from staffing firm Insight Global showed almost 80% of U.S. workers are scared about their job security if a recession hits.  

It’s a conundrum with complicated indicators that have economists, employees and employers wondering what will happen next. 

Source: newsy.com

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China Fines Didi $1.2 Billion as Tech Sector Pressures Persist

For Didi, once hailed as an innovator and disrupter in China’s staid transportation sector, it has been a fast fall from grace. The company was considered the pride of China’s spunky, and valuable, start-up scene in 2016 when it beat its American rival, Uber, and bought the firm’s Chinese operations. At the time, its executives vowed that the data it collected would be used to unsnarl traffic jams and eventually help develop driverless cars.

As Beijing has asserted greater control over internet firms like Didi, it has sought to shape a private sector more in line with the Communist Party’s focus on political security and meeting its policy goals. Popular attitudes about China’s tech sector, once an emblem of future achievement, appear to have shifted, too.

After the punishment was announced, a number of professors and tech commentators took to Weibo to call for even harsher punishments.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University, called the revelations of Didi’s violations “really shocking!” Didi “disregarded national security, disregarded national laws and disregarded citizens’ privacy,” he added. Others went further, wondering whether a company that jeopardized national security should be allowed to exist at all.

In the short term, the government will probably relent on Didi, allowing it to restore its apps in stores. But the company will still have to show that it has addressed the regulator’s concerns over data security and other issues, said Linghao Bao, an analyst at Trivium China, a China-focused policy research team.

“Big tech platforms are getting a break as the economy is not doing so well. Regulators are shifting from a campaign-style crackdown toward a more rules-based governance,” he said. “But tech regulation is here to stay over the long term.”

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Wall Street dips after Fed minutes published

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  • FOMC minutes published at 2 p.m. EDT
  • Markets endured topsy-turvy trading prior to release
  • Investors watching c.bank’s stance on rate hikes, inflation
  • Uber, DoorDash fall as Just Eat agrees Amazon partnership
  • Indexes up: Dow 0.23%, S&P 0.36%, Nasdaq 0.35%

NEW YORK, July 6 (Reuters) – Wall Street put a seesaw day behind it to close higher on Wednesday, as investors digested new clues on the U.S. central bank’s approach to rate policy and its inflation fight detailed in the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

After a brutal selloff in global equity markets in the first half of the year, nervous investors are keeping a close watch on central bank actions as they try to assess the impact of aggressive rate hikes on global growth.

They got their latest data point on Wednesday afternoon, when the minutes of the June 14-15 policy meeting detailed how the U.S. central bank was prompted to make an outsized interest rate increase. The minutes were a firm restatement of the Fed’s intent to get prices under control to address stubborn inflation and concern about lost faith in the central bank’s power. read more

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The 0.75 percentage-point rate increase which came out of the meeting was the first of that size since 1994. According to the minutes, participants judged that an increase of 50 or 75 basis points would likely be appropriate at the policy meeting later this month.

Prior to the minutes’ publication, investors had been pricing in another 75-basis-point rate increase at the upcoming July 26-27 gathering, meaning the fact that both 50 basis points and 75 basis points remained on the table pointed toward the Fed acknowledging the impact of its rate rises on the economy.

The minutes reflected participants’ concern about rate increases having the potential for a “larger-than-anticipated” impact on economic growth.

“I think people are heavily focused on the terminal rate of what the Federal Reserve’s increases are, and the 50-75 debate just points towards where you end up,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

He noted that a 50 basis-point hike would point toward a terminal rate of 3%, while 75 basis points indicated a peak of 3.25% or 3.5%. At 3.5% or above, the likelihood of recession is about 50%.

Prior to the publication of the minutes, all three Wall Street benchmarks had endured a seesaw session, and while there were further swings between positive and negative territory in the moments after the 2 p.m. EDT release, markets built solid gains for the rest of the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 69.86 points, or 0.23%, to 31,037.68, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 13.69 points, or 0.36%, to 3,845.08 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 39.61 points, or 0.35%, to 11,361.85.

Eight of the 11 S&P subsectors closed higher, with utilities (.SPLRCU) and technology (.SPLRCT) leading the way. The biggest outlier was the energy index (.SPNY), which slipped 1.7% as crude prices fell to a 12-week low on recession fears.

Elsewhere, Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) and DoorDash Inc (DASH.N) fell 4.5% and 7.4%, respectively, after Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) agreed to take a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com’s (TKWY.AS) struggling U.S. food delivery business, Grubhub. read more

Rivian Automotive Inc (RIVN.O) gained 10.4% after the electric-vehicle maker’s deliveries nearly quadrupled as it ramped up production. read more

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.31 billion shares, compared with the 13.08 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

The S&P 500 posted 2 new 52-week highs and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 20 new highs and 109 new lows.

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Reporting by David French in New York and Amruta Khandekar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru
Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Grubhub gets Amazon investment; Prime members to get fee-free food

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July 6 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) has secured the right to buy a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com’s (TKWY.AS) Grubhub and will offer no-fee access to the service for a year to U.S. Prime members, hoping to boost subscriptions with a renewed push into meal delivery.

Announced ahead of Amazon’s July “Prime Day” marketing blitz starting Tuesday, the deal lets the online retailer’s loyalty club members use Grubhub without delivery fees on orders over $12 in more than 4,000 U.S. cities.

Shares in Just Eat Takeaway rose more than 15% to 15.86 euros in Amsterdam trading. The deal is a major relief for Europe’s largest meals company, whose stock had fallen 70% this year.

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Shareholders have demanded it sell or find a partner for Grubhub, which it bought last year for $5.8 billion. Demand has waned since the height of the pandemic, and it has lost market share to Doordash (DASH.N) and Uber Eats (UBER.N). read more

Amazon will receive warrants representing 2% of Grubhub’s shares, and an additional 13% of shares conditional on the deal bringing Grubhub enough customers.

Amazon’s stock rose more than 1%, while Uber shares fell about 4% and Doordash tumbled about 7%. Just Eat Takeaway specified in a statement it continues to “explore the partial or full sale of Grubhub,” though there is no certainty any deal will be reached.

In a note on the Amazon deal, analysts from JPMorgan said it would bring new customers and strengthen Grubhub’s position in the United States, comparable to a partnership Amazon has in Britain with Just Eat rival Deliveroo (ROO.L).

“While Grubhub is now only a smaller part of Just Eat Takeaway’s portfolio, representing about 20% of estimated 2023 revenues, this step improves JET’s position in potentially selling (Grubhub),” analysts wrote.

Globally, Amazon has said it has more than 200 million Prime members. It raised the annual cost of membership to $139 from $119 in the United States this year and has aimed to show the higher price-tag is worth it.

Analysts said this was an easy, inexpensive way for Amazon to resume U.S. restaurant delivery after exiting that business in 2019 because it lacked sufficient restaurant supply.

“Our thought is ‘hey, why not?”, analysts at RBC Capital Markets wrote.

The deal represents a familiar playbook for Amazon, which for years acquired warrants to buy stock in air transport and food distribution companies, prodding these partners to support the online retailer’s business without putting up money for a total acquisition.

Just Eat Takeaway said the agreement is expected to expand membership to Grubhub+, while having a neutral impact on Grubhub’s earnings in 2022 and providing a boost from 2023 onward.

The company said that Grubhub’s gross assets were worth 6.5 billion euros ($6.67 billion) at the end of 2021, and it made a pretax loss of 403 million euros in that year.

($1 = 0.9746 euros)

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Reporting by Elena Vardon, Piotr Lipinski, Toby Sterling, and Aishwarya Venugopal; Editing by Louise Heavens, Kim Coghill and David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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How War in Ukraine Roiled Russia’s ‘Coolest Company’

What a difference a war makes.

Just a few months ago, Yandex stood out as a rare Russian business success story, having mushroomed from a small start-up into a tech colossus that not only dominated search and ride-hailing across Russia, but boasted a growing global reach.

A Yandex app could hail a taxi in far-flung cities like Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Oslo, Norway; or Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and the company delivered groceries in London, Paris and Tel Aviv. Fifty experimental Yandex robots trundled across the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, bringing Grubhub food orders to students — with plans to expand to some 250 American campuses.

Often called “the coolest company in Russia,” Yandex employed more than 18,000 people; its founders were billionaires; and at its peak last November, it was worth more than $31 billion. Then President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia invaded Ukraine.

massacre by Russian troops. “In any other situation, it would be a perfect company, like Google, like any tech company. But Yandex has a problem since it is a Russian company.”

Founded by two math wizards in 1997, it has long claimed to generate around 60 percent of the web searches in Russia. (Google has about 35 percent, Dr. Bunina said.)

Before Yandex, Russian taxis consisted of random drivers trying to earn a few rubles. Uber tried to muscle into the market, but eventually relented and became a partner with Yandex in Russia and numerous former Soviet states. Yandex Taxi has expanded to about 20 countries.

Like many successful companies in Russia, particularly those involved in news in any format, Yandex soon caught the eye of the Kremlin. Mr. Putin’s image keepers inevitably noticed that news critical of Mr. Putin was featured frequently on Yandex.News, the company’s aggregator. During street protests in 2011 and 2012, and then the assaults on Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014, Kremlin officials sought to edit the list of acceptable news sources and sometimes even individual headlines.

Yandex tried to push back by explaining that an algorithm generated the list automatically from thousands of sources based on popularity.

“The pressure has been ramping up on us since 2014, and we have done everything we can to preserve a neutral role,” John W. Boynton, an American entrepreneur and the chairman of its board of directors, said in a June interview. “We do not get involved in politics, we have never wanted to.”

But Yandex was too big not to be enmeshed in politics, and the Kremlin kept chipping away at its independence. New laws forced news aggregators and search engines to use officially endorsed sources, while the government wrangled more control over the company’s management structure.

“They were just making it easier to pull the strings if they wanted to,” said Esther Dyson, one of two Americans who resigned from the board when the war started. It became clear that the Kremlin “was going further toward complete control,” she said.

After the Feb. 24 invasion, Mr. Putin quickly signed a law making it a crime to spread “fake news” about the military, subject to jail sentences of up to 15 years and hefty fines. What had been a manageable problem, fending off the Kremlin while maintaining an image of independence, suddenly became a crisis.

For users like Tonia Samsonova, a tech entrepreneur who had sold her start-up to Yandex for several million dollars but was still running it, the impact was jarring. Having read an online story from a British newspaper that the Kremlin had placed the country’s nuclear forces on high alert, she checked the headlines on Yandex.

There she found a bland story from a state-run agency about “deterrent” forces. Alarmed, she texted several Yandex executives to suggest that it present news that would rally opposition to the war; that elicited a firm “No,” she said.

Ms. Samsonova then posted her handwritten resignation letter on Instagram, accusing the company of hiding civilian deaths perpetrated by the Russian military.

“It is not accurate by design and the management knows it,” Ms. Samsonova said in an interview. “It is a crime to continue to do that when your country is invading another one.”

Aleksei A. Navalny, the imprisoned opposition leader, wrote on Twitter: “Don’t forget that the main propagandist of the war is not TV at all, but the Russian IT giantYandex.”

In its first sanctions against one top executive, the E.U. cited online accusations of disinformation made by a former head of Yandex.News.

The company responded to the accusations that it spread disinformation by saying that Russian law tied its hands, and that it wanted to preserve the livelihoods of its employees and the interests of its investors.

Keenly aware that the government had wrested control over another social media giant, VKontakte, the equivalent of Facebook, Yandex executives tread carefully, worried about a similar nationalization.

Facing internal questions, Dr. Bunina said that, during a weekly company forum soon after the war started, she told employees that putting independent news onto the home page would last about 10 minutes, bring no change and potentially bring an end to Yandex as they knew it.

Executives figured that as long as they controlled the Yandex search engine, users could find credible news on the war from abroad, she said, noting that Russia was not yet China.

But that proved to be far too optimistic. The company soon announced that it would spin off Yandex.News and Yandex.Zen, a kind of blogging platform that had attracted government wrath as a main vehicle for spreading videos that Mr. Navalny regularly produced exposing Kremlin corruption.

For now, Yandex executives say their main concern is to continue to innovate while the heart of the company remains in Russia, cut off from most Western technology.

“Since the war, we have put all our initiatives to take our services global on hold,” said Mr. Boynton.

Some 2,500 employees who left Russia remain outside, Dr. Bunina said, and the pace of departures from the company is accelerating.

Yandex is further bedeviled by a growing split between the employees who stayed in Russia and those outside, which makes even conversation difficult, much less collaboration. Those inside anxiously refuse to discuss the war or the world, sticking to IT, while those who left in disgust often want nothing more to do with their native land.

“Whether you leave, or whether you stay, these are such different worlds right now, so you will not understand each other,” Mr. Krasilshchik said. “This is not only about Yandex, Yandex is like the country in miniature.”

Alina Lobzina contributed reporting.

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Factbox: Companies offering abortion travel benefits to U.S. workers

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June 29 (Reuters) – A growing number of companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) are updating or changing their health insurance policies to offer travel benefits to U.S. employees who may need to access out of state abortion services.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took the dramatic step of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalized it nationwide. read more

Below is a list of companies that have said they will cover or reimburse U.S. employees who need to travel to receive medical care, including abortion, if access where workers live is restricted.

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Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O)

Alaska Air Group Inc (ALK.N) read more

Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O)

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) read more

American Express Co (AXP.N)

Apollo Global Management Inc (APO.N) read more

Apple Inc (AAPL.O)

AT&T Inc (T.N)

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N)

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO)

Blackstone Inc (BX.N) read more

Block Inc (SQ.N)

Bumble Inc (BMBL.O) read more

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO)

Carlyle Group Inc (CG.O) read more

Chobani

Citigroup Inc (C.N) read more

CVS Health Corp (CVS.N)

Deutsche Bank AG read more

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS.N) read more

DoorDash Inc (DASH.N)

Equinox

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) read more

Gucci (PRTP.PA)

H&M (HMb.ST)

HubSpot Inc

Intel Corp (INTC.O)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) read more

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) read more

Kroger Co (KR.N)

Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI.N) read more

L’Oreal (OREP.PA)

LVMH (LVMH.PA)

Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) read more

Macy’s Inc (M.N)

Mastercard Inc (MA.N) read more

Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) read more

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) read more

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) read more

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O)

Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N)

OKCupid (MTCH.O) read more

PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O)

Pinterest Inc (PINS.N)

Proctor and Gamble Co(PG.N)

Ralph Lauren Corp (RL.N)

Rivian Automotive Inc(RIVN.O)

Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) read more

Target Corp (TGT.N)

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) read more

TPG Inc (TPG.O) read more

Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N)

Ulta Beauty Inc (ULTA.O)

Unilever PLC (ULVR.L)

United Talent Agency read more

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O)

Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) read more

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) read more

Yahoo

Yelp Inc (YELP.N) read more

Zillow Group Inc (ZG.O)

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Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo and Akash Sriram; Additional reporting by Chavi Mehta, Manas Mishra and Nichola Saminather; Editing by Anna Driver, Rosalba O’Brien, Bill Berkrot, Daniel Wallis, William Maclean

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Drivers’ Lawsuit Claims Uber and Lyft Violate Antitrust Laws

A group of drivers claimed on Tuesday that Uber and Lyft are engaging in anticompetitive practices by setting the prices customers pay and limiting drivers’ ability to choose which rides they accept without penalty.

The drivers, supported by the advocacy group Rideshare Drivers United, made the novel legal argument in a state lawsuit that targets the long-running debate about the job status of gig economy workers.

For years, Uber and Lyft have argued that their drivers should be considered independent contractors rather than employees under labor laws, meaning they would be responsible for their own expenses and not typically eligible for unemployment insurance or health benefits. In exchange, the companies argued, drivers could set their own hours and maintain more independence than they could if they were employees.

ballot measure in California that would lock in the independent contractor status of drivers. The companies said such a measure would help drivers by giving them flexibility, and Uber also began allowing drivers in California to set their own rates after the state passed a law requiring companies to treat contract workers as employees. Drivers thought the new flexibility was a sign of what life would be like if voters approved the ballot measure, Proposition 22.

Drivers were also given increased visibility into where passengers wanted to travel before they had to accept the ride. The ballot measure passed, before a judge overturned it.

The next year, the new options for drivers were rolled back. Drivers said they had lost the ability to set their own fares and now must meet requirements — like accepting five of every 10 rides — to see details about trips before accepting them.

bears little relationship to what drivers earn.

Whatever the case, courts in California could be more sympathetic to at least some of the claims in the complaint, the experts said.

gas prices have soared and as competition among drivers has started to return to prepandemic levels.

“It’s been increasingly more difficult to earn money,” said another plaintiff, Ben Valdez, a driver in Los Angeles. “Enough is enough. There’s only so much a person can take.”

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