Daily Crunch: Facebook cuts off news-sharing in Australia

Facebook plays hardball in Australia, Epic Games expands its fight against Apple and New York’s attorney general sues Amazon. This is your Daily Crunch for February 17, 2021.

The big story: Facebook cuts off news-sharing in Australia

In response to a proposed law forcing internet platforms to pay news publishers directly, Facebook announced today that Australian users will not be able to share or view news links.

In its post, Facebook drew a direct contrast with the other big company targeted by the law, with managing director for Facebook Australia and New Zealand William Easton writing, “Google Search is inextricably intertwined with news and publishers do not voluntarily provide their content. On the other hand, publishers willingly choose to post news on Facebook, as it allows them to sell more subscriptions, grow their audiences and increase advertising revenue.”

The tech giants

Epic Games takes its Apple App Store fight to Europe — The Fortnite-maker has lodged a complaint with the bloc’s antitrust regulators.

NY AG sues Amazon over treatment of warehouse workers — The suit alleges that Amazon failed to provide adequate health and safety measures in two New York facilities, and that it unlawfully disciplined and fired employees who complained.

Google Maps users can now pay for parking or their transit fare right from the app — This is part of an expanded partnership with transportation software companies Passport and ParkMobile.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Locus Robotics has raised a $150M Series E — The round values the robotics company at $1 billion.

SpaceX reportedly raises $850M in new funding — This is a massive round by most standards, but not by SpaceX’s.

Jet co-founder Nate Faust is building a more sustainable e-commerce experience with Olive — Faust said it’s “crazy” that 25 years after the e-commerce industry began, it’s still relying on “single-use, one-way packaging.”

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Dear Sophie: Tips for filing for a green card for my soon-to-be spouse — The latest edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

With software markets getting bigger, will more VCs bet on competing startups? — Back in the days when inside rounds were bad, SPACs were jokes and crypto a fever dream, there was lots of noise about investors who declined to place competing bets in any particular startup market.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Jamaica’s immigration website exposed thousands of travelers’ data — Immigration documents and COVID-19 lab results were left unprotected.

Reducing the spread of misinformation on social media: What would a do-over look like? — Ideas from the team at Irrational Labs.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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