Business Highlights: Google settlement, Crypto rescue fund – mySA

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states to resolve an investigation into how the company tracked users’ locations. State attorneys general announced the settlement Monday. They’re calling it the largest multistate privacy settlement in U.S history. Officials say the investigation by the states was spurred by a 2018 Associated Press story. The officials say they found that Google continued to track people’s location data even after they opted out of such tracking.

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Binance proposes fund to save crypto from future failures

NEW YORK (AP) — Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance is proposing the creation of a rescue fund that would save otherwise healthy crypto companies from failure. It’s an effort to stave off the cascading effects of last week’s implosion of FTX, the world’s third-largest crypto exchange. Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao posted on Twitter that his company would create an industry-recovery fund to help cryptocurrency companies that are otherwise strong but are facing a liquidity crisis. Zhao provided no details on the fund’s size or scope, or how the funds would be distributed.

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Elon Musk pay package at Tesla challenged in court

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Testimony is under way in a shareholder lawsuit challenging approval by Tesla’s board of directors of a compensation plan potentially worth more than $55 billion for CEO Elon Musk. Attorneys packed a Delaware courtroom Monday as the trial began in a lawsuit filed in 2018. The lawsuit alleges that the performance-based stock option grant was negotiated by a compensation committee and approved in 2018 by board members who had conflicts because of personal and professional ties to Musk. It also alleges that a shareholder vote approving the plan was based on an incomplete and misleading proxy statement. The first witness was Ira Ehrenpreis, a prominent venture capitalist and longtime friend of Musk who chaired Tesla’s compensation committee when the grant was formulated.

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Fed Vice Chair Brainard is ‘reassured’ by inflation report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said she was encouraged by last week’s U.S. inflation report, which pointed to slower price increases, and said the Fed would likely soon reduce the size of its interest rate hikes. Brainard’s comments, during a discussion at Bloomberg, were more positive toward the inflation report than were those of several of her Fed colleagues last week. Some central bank officials have sought to temper the stock market’s ebullient response to last week’s better-than-expected inflation report, which suggested that the rampant price spikes of the past 18 months were slowing.

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Jeff Bezos says he will give away most of his fortune

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in an interview with CNN that he will give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime. The billionaire didn’t specify how – or to whom – he will give away the money, but said he and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, were building the “capacity” to do it. Bezos has been criticized in the past for not pledging to donate the majority of his wealth through philanthropy. He stepped down as Amazon CEO last year to devote more time to philanthropy and other projects. On Saturday, the billionaire and Sanchez also announced they will give a $100 million grant to singer Dolly Parton.

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MacKenzie Scott acknowledges another $2B in donations

NEW YORK (AP) — Megadonor and novelist MacKenzie Scott announced almost $2 billion in donations in a short blog post Monday that emphasized her interest in supporting people from underserved communities. Scott made the announcement on her blog. The announcement Monday brought the amount she’s said she’s given to around $14 billion to some 1500 organizations. In the post, she also repeated a promise first made in December last year to release a database of the organizations to which she’s donated. Scott’s ex-husband, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, separately said in an interview with CNN Monday that he would give away the majority of his wealth in his lifetime.

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Another union rejects deal with nation’s freight railroads

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Another railroad union has rejected its agreement with the nation’s freight railroads. That increases the chances that Congress may be called upon to settle the dispute and block a strike. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union Monday voted down the contract even though it includes 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses. All 12 rail unions must approve their deals to prevent a strike. But no strike is imminent because all the unions have agreed to keep negotiating until a deadline early next month. Workers’ quality-of-life concerns are threatening to derail the agreements. Contract talks with the two unions that rejected their deals last month remain deadlocked over the issue of paid sick time.

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The S&P 500 fell 35.68 points, or 0.9%, to 3,957.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 211.16 points, or 0.6%, to 33,536.70. The Nasdaq fell 127.11 points, or 1.1%, to 11,196.22. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 21.49 points, or 1.1%, to 1,861.25.

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