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Waymo Sues Uber
Alphabet’s Waymo has sued Uber for allegedly stealing trade secrets “to jump-start its own autonomous vehicle program,” The Wall Street Journal reports. The lawsuit accuses a former Waymo employee of downloading thousands of files before leaving to start up Otto, a company that Uber acquired last year.
Baidu Reports First Decline in Profits
China-based search engine Baidu released its earnings report for Q4 and full-year 2016 last week, revealing the company experienced its first decline in profits. The firm said its net income fell to RMB11.63 billion ($1.75 billion) in 2016, a drop of more than 65% from the previous year. The declines were not unforeseen; Baidu was widely criticized after a student died from an experimental cancer treatment found via a paid search ad on the platform. The incident led to new regulations on search ads that have cut into Baidu’s revenues.
Spotify Now Podcasting On Its Own
Spotify users can already listen to podcasts on the platform, but now they can tune in to the digital music service’s own original content. The “Showstopper” podcast, which analyzes music on TV, premiered last week. “Unpacked,” which focuses on festivals of all kinds, and a series about a music executive titled “The Chris Lighty Story,” will begin in March and April.
India’s Home-Sharing Service Stayzilla Shutters
Stayzilla, a peer-to-peer home-sharing service in India similar to Airbnb, announced that it was suspending its current services for a “reboot.” Stayzilla has raised about $34 million in funding since its founding in 2007, but CEO Yogendra Vasupal said in a blog post that the company has been unable to break even in the increasingly competitive digital travel industry.
Netflix Subscribers in India Top 200,000
Digital- and telecom-focused website MediaNama reported last week that Netflix’s operation in India has drawn somewhere between 211,000 and 337,000 paid subscribers. MediaNama generated its figures by examining the company’s tax record in the country. Netflix has slowly been stepping up its efforts to partner with local content creators in India to develop original content for its platform in the market.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
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