Plus, Uber acquires a Dubai rival, Los Angeles seeks scooter company data, and Boeing updates its 737 Max-8.
Apple is hosting an event today where it will unveil its video and news subscription services. The Wall Street Journal reports it will include the option to subscribe to TV services like HBO and Showtime for $9.99 a month each, and a bundled premium news service for the same price. Apple’s bet on non-hardware offerings is being called “the company’s biggest shift in more than a decade” away from its core products and a move into taking a cut on software services. It’s a strategy that Steve Jobs had resisted in the past, but current CEO Tim Cook has been pushing in the last few years. [Tripp Mickle / The Wall Street Journal]
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Uber is expected to pay $3.1 billion to acquire a Dubai ride-sharing rival. According to Bloomberg, Uber is making a cash-and-shares deal to acquire one of the most valuable tech startups in the Middle East, Careem Networks FZ. Shareholders include Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. As Bloomberg reports, “For Uber, a deal would signal its commitment to the Middle East, where one of its biggest investors — a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund — is based.” [Dinesh Nair, Matthew Martin, and Nour Al Ali / Bloomberg]
Los Angeles is limiting scooter companies that don’t share passenger data. The city is asking companies to provide “start and end” trip location data of every vehicle, so as to make sure scooters are being parked legally. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have pushed back on this, and organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Technology and Democracy have raised privacy concerns. The city is allocating fewer permits to companies that don’t comply with the data requests, making LA residents three times as likely to ride a scooter that provides the city government with location data, according to CNET. [Alfred Ng / CNET]
Software changes are coming to Boeing’s 737-Max jets. The Wall Street Journal reports that regulators have “tentatively approved” software changes that will make the automated stall-prevention feature, called MCAS, “less aggressive and more controllable by pilots.” MCAS was suspected to be the reason behind the fatal Lion Air Crash in Indonesia in October, and is being investigated as a potential contributor to the more recent Ethiopian Airlines crash. The aircraft manufacturer has received criticism for charging extra for safety features. According to a recent New York Times report, some at the company feel it rushed to get the aircraft out amid pressure from competitor Airbus. [Andy Pasztor and Andrew Tangel / Wall Street Journal]
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