• Business News Roundup, April 26

    Google has sprinkled some new ingredients into its search engine in an effort to prevent bogus information and offensive suggestions from souring its results. The announcement in a blog post Tuesday reflects Google’s confidence in a new screening system designed to reduce the chances it will highlight untrue stories about people and events, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “fake news.” Besides taking steps to block fake news from appearing, Google also has reprogrammed a popular feature...

  • Business News Roundup, April 25

    Tesla will nearly double its Supercharger electric car charging network this year to 10,000 public charging units globally, up from 5,400, the company said Monday. The Palo Alto company plans to begin producing the mass-market Model 3 later this year and plans to expand its current annual vehicle production from 80,000 last year to 500,000 by the end of 2018. [...] recently, Tesla buyers got free lifetime Supercharger privileges as part of their purchase. The Redwood City tech company...

  • Business News Roundup, April 21

    Visa’s profit dropped 75 percent in the fiscal second quarter from a year ago, largely due to the costs of integrating its recently acquired Visa Europe into the larger company. Visa had two significant one-time charges related to the reorganization of the company to include Visa Europe, which Visa Inc. purchased last year. Excluding those items, Visa had an adjusted profit of $2.1 billion (86 cents), which beat analysts’ expectations. The company continues to benefit from the increased...

  • Business News Roundup, April 20

    Bank examiners saw sales problems at Wells Fargo as early as 2010 and met with executives but declined to investigate further, the inspector general at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Wednesday. The office “did not take timely and effective supervisory actions” after the bank and the office found issues with sales practices, the office’s inspector general said in its report. A scathing assessment released last week by the board of directors of the San Francisco bank also...

  • Business News Roundup, April 19

    Google Earth is getting a revival, as the 3-D mapping service reorients itself to become more of a tool for adventure and exploration. Google has teamed up with NASA, the BBC and other groups to add video clips, photos and text narratives to three-dimensional representations of particular locations. The Jane Goodall Institute, for instance, lets you journey to spots in Tanzania that inspired its founding chimpanzee expert. A new “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature takes you to a random lesser-known...

  • Business News Roundup, April 18

    Wells Fargo changed its severance policy that lowers the amount it will pay out to most displaced employees, the San Francisco bank told workers on Monday. On Nov. 18, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, slapped new requirements on the bank, including stricter review of severance or “golden parachute” payouts. The bank has received approval to pay the majority of the workers, but there are still a number whose severance is still under review,...

  • Business News Roundup, April 14

    A report says Uber used a secret program dubbed “Hell” to track Lyft drivers to see if they were driving for both ride-hailing services and otherwise stifle competition. Only a small group of Uber employees, including CEO Travis Kalanick, knew about the program, according to a story in the Information, which was based on an anonymous source who was not authorized to speak publicly. More than 50 labor, environmental and social justice groups sent Tesla a letter Thursday criticizing a...

  • Business News Roundup, April 13

    Uber has lost a string of top managers in recent months as the ride-hailing company has dealt with scandals over its workplace culture and its executives’ behavior. [...] internally, Kalanick and Whetstone had a complicated relationship, according to three current and former employees who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters. Kalanick and Whetstone are intense personalities and occasionally clashed over how to handle external communications,...

  • Business News Roundup, April 12

    The company said it conducts “rigorous analyses” that its pay practices are gender-blind and found “no gender pay gap” in 52 major job categories it analyzed last year. The Department of Labor had accused Google of shortchanging women doing similar work to men, saying it found “systemic compensation disparities” across the company’s workforce. The company said it had already produced hundreds of thousands of documents in response to government requests. An acrimonious legal battle between...

  • Business News Roundup, April 7

    Facebook is releasing a resource to help you spot false news and misleading information that spreads on its service.

  • Business News Roundup, April 5

    After two years of on-and-off negotiations, Spotify and the world’s biggest record company have finally agreed to a licensing deal that paves the way for Spotify to go public and gives the music industry more flexibility in how new albums are streamed. Spotify’s agreement with the Universal Music Group — whose hundreds of artists include Drake, U2, the Weeknd and Lady Gaga — is a global, multiyear deal, the companies announced Tuesday. Spotify’s licensing contracts with all three major record...

  • Business News Roundup, March 31

    The Commerce Department said the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, expanded at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the October-December period. McDonald’s said Thursday that it would use fresh beef instead of frozen patties in Quarter Pounder burgers in most of its restaurants by mid-2018, the latest step in an effort to overhaul its menu and image. The change, which is intended to improve taste but would not carry nutritional benefits, would mean burgers are...