TIME People

Uber Wants Your Parents to Be Drivers

senior woman hands on steering wheel
Getty Images

The new economy is welcoming older Americans with open arms

“Companies don’t hire 50-year-olds. They just don’t.”

So says 50-year-old Sherry Singer. After decades of being a professional matchmaker, Singer wanted to change gears and start a non-profit, but still needed to pay the rent in L.A. Feeling she had few places to turn in the traditional job market, she looked to a more disruptive space: the booming on-demand economy led by Uber. Singer, who has now worked several of these freelancing jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago, found she could land a gig within a week.

Agism might be rampant in Silicon Valley, but some of the Bay Area’s leading companies are now actively trying to engage the senior crowd, recognizing the huge potential of experienced workers and responsible adults.

On Thursday, Uber announced a partnership with Life Reimagined, an organization under the AARP umbrella that exists to help older people figure out “what’s next?” after life transitions. The same day, Airbnb released data aimed at “celebrating” older hosts and guests, amid their executives attending summits on aging around the country.

“To overlook them participating in new activities would be really short-sighted,” says Airbnb’s Anita Roth, who attended a recent conference on aging hosted by the White House.

When these companies were startups that didn’t know how long they might survive, being short-sighted may have made sense. New tech companies have been started by young people who hire their young friends to help create solutions to problems they’re encountering in their own young lives. Their first customers are often their young, early-adopting friends who live in the Bay Area. But with valuations north of $25 billion, these “startups” are focusing on expansions into a more untapped demographic, which also happens to be huge and growing.

By 2032, Americans over the age of 65 will outnumber those under the age of 15. While bands of young companies are starting to pay more respect to the buying power of this demographic, Uber’s new effort is about recognizing their potential as workers. Life Reimagined bills itself as a helping hand for any adult in need of some direction—whether that person is a 42-year-old divorcee, 55-year-old empty nester or 66-year-old retiree bored nearly to death. Their mission isn’t just about helping people find new jobs or careers, but that’s often involved for participants who range from their late 30s to early 70s.

“The reality is there are far more adults looking for work than venues that are seeking to hire them,” says Emilio Pardo, Life Reimagined’s president. Their effort with Uber is explicitly targeting the “40-plus” crowd. The rideshare company said they don’t have a particular goal for how many drivers they hope to recruit.

Uber already has hundreds of thousands drivers coming onto their platform worldwide every month and expects perhaps another hundred thousand join their ranks in the U.S. over the next few years. Still, says Uber executive David Richter, they need to actively recruit. “We have the high-class problem of ever-increasing demand,” he says.

Uber previously engaged in targeted demographic outreach by trying to sell veterans on becoming drivers. The theory was that many veterans are task-oriented, disciplined and also looking for a healthy outlet “to bring those traits to bear,” says Richter. Those drivers turned out to get higher-than-average ratings; Uber hopes to repeat those results by capitalizing on older drivers who might provide a “more cautious, reliable ride.” According to a white paper released in January, Uber drivers are more likely to be young, female and highly educated than taxi drivers or chauffeurs. Still, about half of them are already over the age of 39.

What about the stereotype that grandma is a haphazard driver who goes everywhere with her blinker on and can operate a smartphone about as well as nuclear submarine? Ken Smith and Martha Deevy, experts from Stanford’s Center on Longevity, generally have a positive attitude about older people driving for Uber, saying that the flexibility those jobs provide will likely be attractive to retirees who need income but want flexible schedules. They also point out that if age 40 is the starting point, that means “there are 30 unambiguously safe years there.” If you look at fatal crash statistics, they point out, you could argue that getting into a car with a 65-year-old is safer than doing so with a driver who is less than 30.

Smartphones are required to do the job of being an Uber driver—as well as most new jobs in the on-demand economy—because it involves accepting and completing requests for rides through the Uber app. Just over half of 50- to 64-year-olds own smartphones, according to Pew, but those numbers are going up. In 2012, only 34% of them did. And, Richter says, new drivers can always lease a smartphone from Uber if needed.

The Center on Longevity is a leading organization dedicated to trying to figure out how Americans can all lead better, longer lives, a crucial mission given that our life expectancies have jumped 20 years since 1925. Airbnb worked with the group to develop a survey to learn more about their older users. Turns out, about one million of Airbnb’s guests and hosts are over 60. Considering 25 million people used Airbnb to find accommodations in the past year, that leaves a lot of room for growth, especially among a demographic that is more likely to own their own home. Like Uber’s veteran drivers, Airbnb’s older hosts also tend to get better reviews than the general population, Airbnb says. The majority of those hosts are either retirees or empty-nesters who start renting out rooms for the extra money; according to Airbnb’s survey, 49% of them are on a fixed income. But, Roth says, many people who come to the platform for the money end up staying for the social engagement and “renewed sense of purpose.” Isolation among older Americans, Life Reimagined’s Pardo says, “is fatal.”

Of course, the sharing and on-demand economies are not without their uncertainties and pitfalls. Lawsuits are alleging that companies like Uber are exploiting their workers, and cities like San Francisco are hotly debating how much home-sharing to allow. Though 50-year-old Singer continues to work for an on-demand ride company, she’s also a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Postmates, an on-demand delivery service for which she used to be a courier. The business models of these companies may have to change, but the fact that companies can benefit from giving older Americans more opportunities and attention will remain. “People are in a moment in America where either they can’t retire, don’t want to retire or they’re retired but they’re not done yet,” says Pardo. “It’s all about using the latest technology to actually open up a new opportunity, to give you options.”

TIME Microsoft

Here’s the Most Surprising Fact About Microsoft Windows

It's way more popular than you think


For Microsoft, there’s a lot riding on its new Windows 10 operating system, out Wednesday. Its last attempt, Windows 8, was met with criticism over a massive interface redesign, while Microsoft’s ventures into the mobile market have yet to bear fruit. If Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is to meet his goal of hitting 1 billion Windows-powered devices by 2019, he needs Windows 10 to be a hit.

But Nadella has a huge advantage from the starting gate. While Apple’s offerings may get more media attention, a whopping 9 in 10 desktops are running Windows operating systems, as shown in the above chart, which uses June 2015 estimates by web analytics site NetMarketShare. Given that Windows 10 is a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users (Microsoft skipped “Windows 9″), it’s reasonable to expect Windows 10 to gain desktop OS market share very quickly.

Whether Windows 10 can push Microsoft’s desktop business any further is questionable, according to research firm IDC. Desktop PC markets are saturated even in emerging countries — they’re practically overflowing in developed areas — while worldwide PC shipments expected to fall about 5% in 2015. “Any opportunity for long-term growth depends on reviving growth in emerging regions, and that seems unlikely with the shift toward mobile devices,” said Loren Loverde, IDC’s VP of worldwide PC trackers, in a report.

So can Windows 10, which also works on tablets and mobile phones, help Microsoft break into mobile market? There’s some hope, given Microsoft’s efforts to attract app developers for Windows 10 by making it easier to code apps that will work across devices.

But the company’s track record isn’t exactly great: Microsoft’s current mobile OS, Windows Phone, launched in 2010, hasn’t gained any significant market share. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s last big attempt at becoming a major smartphone player — a $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia in 2014 the company recently wrote down — is “not working,” Nadella subtly admitted earlier this month, just weeks Microsoft’s disastrous Q4 2015 earnings report.

At the end of the day, perhaps mobile just isn’t in Microsoft’s blood, no matter how hard the company tries. As shown in the chart below, Windows Phone holds only about 2% of mobile OS market share. And there’s a long ways to go — certainly beyond 2019 — before Microsoft can stand next to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

Read next: Your Complete Guide to Microsoft Windows 10


TIME Microsoft

Why Windows 10 Users May Never Use Google Again

It could change the way you use the web

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 software, out Wednesday, is effectively a sneak attack on Google, packing a new desktop search bar that can field just about any question under the sun. And it’s powered in part by Microsoft’s own Bing search engine, meaning the move could help Microsoft gain even more of the search market share against its foremost rival.

Windows 10’s search features are a welcome change to the myriad search options currently sprawling across our digital lives. Right now, search looks a little like this: Want to search the web? Go to Google. Your calendar appointments? Open your calendar app. Your local files on a phone, tablet or PC? Launch finder windows, one by one. Microsoft aims to replace all of those searches with a single, comprehensive search bar that scans everything — your device, your apps, your cloud and the web — in one fell swoop.

The result is a more versatile search experience, but one that users may find momentarily disorienting. After all, we’re used to rummaging through digital compartments and wielding search like a spotlight. At first glance, the search bar in Windows 10 looks like yet another circumscribed spotlight. That is, until you start typing in commands. The scope of answers soon expands well beyond your expectations.

File searches work not only by name, but by file type. Type in “.ppt,” for example, and a list of PowerPoint presentations crops up in a pop-up menu, sortable by most recent or most relevant and accessible in one click. Searches for the names of apps extend beyond your device and into the Windows Store, fetching not only the apps you’ve installed, but the apps you may want to download, too.

When it comes to web searches, you may not regularly visit Bing, though it recently reached 20% of the search market share in the U.S. Windows 10 brings Bing to the forefront, fetching answers faster than you can type the word “Google.” Open-ended questions, like “what’s the meaning of life?” automatically opens up the relevant results on Bing’s landing page. As you type, Bing will autopopulate frequent search phrases (Life lyrics? Life of Pi?) before zipping the question out to the web.

Questions with more definitive answers, like “what’s 2+2,” come even faster with an assist from Cortana, Microsoft’s new voice-activated digital assistant. Cortana pulls the answer, (four, in case you were wondering), directly into a pop-up menu above the search bar, circumventing the web browser entirely.

And that’s where things get interesting, because Cortana can also use machine learning to display everything you wanted to know, but were too busy to ask. Microsoft’s group program manager for Cortana, Marcus Ash, showed TIME his personalized suggestions from Cortana during his recent visit to Manhattan. A stack of cards in a pop-up menu displayed nearby restaurants in Midtown.

“[Cortana] knows I’m in New York and knows it’s roughly lunch time,” Ash said as he scrolled through a list of pubs and delicatessens. “The list will change for happy hour and change for dinner later on.” Throw in stock price gyrations and flight cancellations, and the very idea of search as most of us know it starts to look outdated.

Read More: Here’s What Really Makes Microsoft’s Cortana So Amazing

Windows 10’s personalized search feature isn’t exactly a breakthrough. Google Now users have been seeing similar results since 2012, and Apple’s next big Siri upgrade offers similar functionality. But it’s a field open to competition, and winner of the search wars in the years ahead is likely to be the one that delivers the best personalized results right when you need them. In a sign of how far Microsoft has come, this writer, for the first time ever, used a Bing Map, despite my historical preference for Google, simply because it popped up first in a Windows 10 search menu. If that’s true of other Windows 10 users, Microsoft’s new operating system could prove an unexpectedly successful trojan horse for the company.

TIME Companies

13 Brilliant Ideas That Turned These People Into Self-Made Billionaires

From Bill Gates to Mark Cuban

In general, nine out of 10 startups fail. But the ones that make it all have one thing in common: a brilliant idea — like the ones these self-made billionaires used to start their companies:


  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin

    David Strick for TIME TIME magazine cover from Feb. 20, 2006

    Larry Page and Sergey Brin were Ph.D. students at Stanford when they first came up with the idea of a search engine. But their idea was a little different than the other search engines on the market: It would examine the number and relevance of links between pages, not just the keywords on them.

    Google’s search engine now dominates the market, and the company has more than $66 billion in sales. It’s now involved in other businesses too — it makes the most popular mobile-phone platform in the world (Android) and runs the most popular video website in the world (YouTube). It’s also experimenting with all kinds of futuristic projects like Google Glass (seen here). Page and Brin are now each worth almost $30 billion.

  • Mark Zuckerberg

    mark zuckerberg cover
    Martin Schoeller for TIME TIME magazine cover from Dec. 27, 2010

    Mark Zuckerberg was a Harvard undergrad when he came up with the idea of a “hot or not” type of website called Facemash. From that site, Zuckerberg learned how technology could be used to connect people and launched a site called thefacebook.com.

    Later, he changed the name to Facebook, and in less than a decade turned it into a $250 billion company. Zuckerberg is now worth over $35 billion.

  • Michael Bloomberg

    Charles Ommanney for TIME TIME magazine cover from Oct. 21, 2013

    Working as a Wall Street trader in the 1970s, Michael Bloomberg quickly realized financial companies were willing to pay big bucks for reliable business information. Bloomberg launched a business that provided important financial information quickly through dedicated computer terminals.

    Bloomberg, with over $8 billion in annual revenue, is now one of the most powerful media and financial-information companies in the world. Bloomberg’s net worth is estimated to be roughly $37 billion.

  • Jeff Bezos

    Gregory Heisler TIME magazine cover from Dec. 27, 1999

    Jeff Bezos was working at a Wall Street firm in the early 1990s when he decided to start his own company. He eventually settled on an idea to launch an online bookstore.

    Now Amazon sells everything from books and furniture to gadgets and wine. It’s worth about $200 billion with over $88 billion in annual sales. Bezos is estimated to have a net worth over $38 billion.

  • Larry Ellison

    Growing up in Chicago’s south side, Larry Ellison had a rough childhood, dropping out of college twice. But once he moved to California at age 22 in the mid-1960s, he came across an IBM report about a database-programming language called SQL.

    Inspired by the IBM paper, Ellison took SQL and created the Oracle database, which could run on non-IBM computers. After a few years, Oracle took off, becoming the most popular database ever sold. Now Oracle is worth $195 billion, and Ellison is one of the richest people in the world with a net worth estimated at around $65 billion.

  • Bill Gates

    bill gates cover
    Michael O'Neill for TIME TIME magazine cover from Mar. 22, 1999

    In 1975, Microsoft cofounders Bill Gates and Paul Allen came across an ad for the Altair 8800, one of the earliest forms of microcomputers. They built a programming language called BASIC, which became the foundational code for Altair 8800.

    Soon Microsoft built an operating system called DOS and licensed it to IBM. A few years later, Microsoft built Windows, which had a more graphical interface than DOS. Since then, Microsoft has become one of the biggest tech companies ever, dominating the PC and software market. It’s a $370 billion business spanning servers and data centers, as well as video games and mobile phones. Gates is the richest man in the world with a net worth approaching $80 billion.

  • Marc Benioff

    Marc Benioff had a revolutionary idea when he founded Salesforce in 1998. He wanted to deliver software over the web, or the “cloud,” making it faster and easier to install and update.

    Salesforce started out as a service for salespeople, but now it has different software for marketing, customer service, and even data analytics. It’s one of the fastest business-software companies to ever reach $5 billion in sales, and Benioff is worth about $3.8 billion. He’s also credited with pioneering the cloud market, which is now one of the hottest areas in tech.

  • Mark Cuban

    Mark Cuban was an early internet entrepreneur in the 1990s, and built a company called Broadcast.com based on the idea of providing customized satellite broadcasts over the web.

    He later sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion. Broadcast.com no longer exists, but there’s no question Cuban — now worth about $3 billion — is one of the most successful self-made tech entrepreneurs of all time. He’s also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and an active startup investor. His role on “Shark Tank” has turned him into a popular TV personality as well.

  • Jack Ma

    Jack Ma was captivated by the internet after visiting the US in 1995. He soon launched two internet startups, which both failed. As his third venture, Ma started Alibaba, an online marketplace where exporters could post product listings so customers could buy directly from them.

    Alibaba took off and, by 1999, raised $5 million from Goldman Sachs and $20 million from Softbank. Just about 15 years later, Alibaba had the largest US IPO of all-time, and now it’s worth over $200 billion. Jack Ma has a net worth in excess of $24 billion.

  • Jan Koum

    Jan Koum wanted to build a sort of phone-book app with status updates showing up next to individual names. It would show things like location or whether the person was on the call or not.

    WhatsApp later evolved to include push features and automatic notifications, before turning into the messaging platform it is now. In 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion. It now has over 800 million monthly active users. Koum is estimated to be worth over $6.8 billion.

  • Jerry Yang and David Filo

    Arthur Hochstein and Ed Gabel for TIME TIME magazine cover from July 20, 1998

    As students at Stanford, Jerry Yang and David Filo came up with the idea of building a directory for websites. They launched “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”

    Within a year of launching, it became one of the most popular websites in the world. They changed the name to Yahoo, which to this day is one of the biggest web portals in the world. It has a market cap over $38 billion. Yang isn’t involved with the company anymore, instead running his own VC firm. His estimated net worth is $2 billion. Filo is still on Yahoo’s board and has a net worth of about $3 billion.

  • Michael Dell

    While a student at University of Texas, Michael Dell realized there was a way to bypass salesmen to sell PCs directly to consumers. He launched a startup called Dell that custom-assembled each component of the PC and sold it at a much lower price.

    Dell had $6 million in sales in its first year. Soon its sales blew up, and by 2001, it became the world’s largest PC maker. Dell took his company back private in 2013 by paying roughly $24.9 billion. He’s worth about $18 billion now.

  • Nick Woodman

    As an avid surfer, GoPro founder Nick Woodman simply wanted to help surfers take better photos of themselves surfing so they could look like a pro. He spent years perfecting the straps that went around the first versions of GoPro.

    But it wasn’t until he took it out of the water and put it in front of race cars that GoPro really started to take off. GoPro went public last year and is now worth about $7.8 billion. Woodman has a net worth of about $2.5 billion.

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider

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TIME Companies

Boss of Turkish Firm Shares $27 Million With Employees

Nevzat Aydin
Johannes Simon—Getty Images Nevzat Aydin of Yemeksepeti.com speaks during the Digital Life Design conference (DLD) at HVB Forum in Munich, on January 24, 2012.

Meet the world's best boss

Most employees fear layoffs if their company is sold, but one Turkish company has instead given its workers a big post-acquisition payday.

After food delivery company Yemeksepeti was bought by Germany’s Delivery Hero in May, chief executive and co-founder Nevzat Aydin carved up the $27 million he made from the sale between his 114 employees. The average bonus of $237,000 is nearly 150 times the average current monthly wage at the company.

In an interview with CNNMoney, a spokesman for Delivery Hero said the size of the individually-determined bonuses was influenced by their impact on Yemeksepeti’s success, the number of years they worked for the company, and their potential for the future.

“The success of companies like Delivery Hero and Yemeksepeti is based on amazing company cultures where tremendous people always walk the extra mile,” he said.



TIME mergers

The World’s Biggest Generic Drug Maker Just Got Bigger

An employee works in the tablet production plant at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s headquarters in Jerusalem on Sept. 19, 2011.
Adam Reynolds—Bloomberg via Getty Images An employee works in the tablet production plant at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s headquarters in Jerusalem on Sept. 19, 2011.

Israeli drug firm Teva acquires $40 billion generic drug business

Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd said Monday it’s dropping its hostile bid for Mylan Inc. and hooking up instead with Allergan Inc.

Tel Aviv-based Teva will buy Allergan’s generics business for $40.5 billion in cash and stock, in a deal that will catapult it into the world’s top 10 pharma companies.

The deal is the latest in a series of eye-popping mergers in the global pharma business, combining the world’s biggest and third-biggest makers of generic drugs. It is a response to increasing pressure from cash-strapped health systems around the world that are trying to keep costs under control. It’s also the biggest ever acquisition by an Israeli company.

It’s also another dramatic twist in the battle for control of Botox-maker Allergan, which agreed in March to be acquired by Actavis Inc. rather than fall into the hands of Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Valeant’s bid had been backed by activist investor Bill Ackman. Actavis subsequently renamed itself Allergan.

Mylan had rejected Teva’s approach in April because it didn’t want to sell out for the “low-quality and high-risk currency” of Teva’s shares, especially in the light of the civil war in Teva’s boardroom last year that led to both the chairman and chief executive losing their jobs.

However, the market has increasingly appeared to accept chief executive Ered Vigodman’s assurances that such problems are now a thing of the past, taking the Israeli company’s stock to within touching distance of its all-time high in 2010. Allergan has agreed to take Teva shares worth $6.75 billion as part of the deal, giving its a stake in the Israeli company estimated at just under 10%.

Teva is paying the remaining $33.75 billion in cash, which will allow Allergan to strengthen its balance sheet after taking on $21 billion in debt to finance the Actavis/Allergan deal in March.

Teva said the deal had been approved by both boards and should close in the first quarter of next year.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

Read next: This New FDA-Approved Cholesterol Drug Is a Game Changer

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TIME Automakers

Fiat Chrysler Fined Record $105 Million Over Recalls

The company will also be forced to buy back recalled Jeeps

Fiat Chrysler could be required to lay out hundreds of millions of dollars to get potentially defective Ram pickups and older Jeeps off the road under a deal with safety regulators to settle claims that the automaker mishandled nearly two dozen recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is requiring the company to offer to buy back certain Ram pickup trucks and Dodge and Chrysler SUVs with defective steering parts that can cause drivers to lose control. More than 579,000 vehicles were initially recalled in 2013, but the company would only be required to buy back a third of those because many of the pickups have already been repaired.

The Italian-American automaker must also allow owners of more than a million older Jeeps with vulnerable rear-mounted gas tanks to trade them in at above market value or give them $100 as an incentive to get a repair.

Fiat Chrysler also faces a record civil penalty of up to $105 million. That beats the old record of $70 million assessed against Honda Motor Co. for lapses in reporting deaths and injuries to safety regulators. FCA’s fine includes $70 million in penalties, at least $20 million to meet performance requirements and $15 million if an independent recall monitor finds any further violations.

Fiat Chrysler shares traded in the New York Stock Exchange dropped nearly 5 percent to close at $14.41 Monday following the weekend announcement of the deal.

The settlement is the latest sign that auto safety regulators are taking a more aggressive approach toward companies that fail to disclose defects or don’t properly conduct a recall.

“Merely identifying defects is not enough,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday during a conference call with media. “Manufacturers that fail in their duty to fix these defects will pay a price.”

Nearly 1.3 million Rams, Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs and Dodge Dakota pickups from as far back as the 2003 model year were recalled for the steering problem in 2013. The government excluded around 700,000 of the oldest models from the buyback program because most have already been repaired or are no longer on the road.

But it ordered the buyback for up to 579,000 vehicles from the 2008 through 2012 model years. Of those, around 193,000 have not gotten the recall repairs and are eligible for either a repair or a buyback, according to recall reports submitted to the government by Fiat Chrysler.

In each case, Fiat Chrysler would be required to pay the original purchase price plus 10 percent, minus a certain amount for depreciation.

The ultimate cost of the settlement depends on how many pickup and SUV owners join in. According to Kelly Blue Book, a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 — one of the smaller, less-expensive trucks involved in the recalls — could fetch $20,000 in a dealer trade-in, assuming the truck has 60,000 miles on it and is in “good” condition. At that rate, FCA could spend $956 million to buy back one-quarter of the vehicles at issue. The company is allowed to repair and resell the trucks it buys back.

The government knows of at least one death attributed to the steering defect.

The older Jeeps have fuel tanks located behind the rear axle, with little to shield them in a rear crash. They can rupture and spill gasoline, causing a fire. At least 75 people have died in crash-related fires, although Fiat Chrysler maintains they are as safe as comparable vehicles from the same era.

FCA must offer $100 to Jeep owners as an incentive to get a repair or a trade-in incentive of $1,000 toward the purchase of another Fiat Chrysler vehicle. The repair consists of adding a trailer hitch to the Jeeps. FCA has already repaired around 441,000 of the 1.5 million Jeeps recalled.

The Jeep trade-ins could add to the tab, but they also could generate more new vehicle sales by getting customers into showrooms. Still, the total could strain the parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. The company posted a first-quarter net profit of $101 million and had more than $20 billion in cash and securities on March 31.

FCA said the amount it pays to repurchase vehicles will be applied as a credit to the $20 million it agreed to spend on outreach efforts as part of its $105 million fine.

“FCA U.S. does not expect that the net cost of providing these additional alternatives will be material to its financial position, liquidity or results of operations,” the company said Monday.

Both the Jeep and Ram measures are part of a larger settlement between the government and the automaker over allegations of misconduct in 23 recalls covering more than 11 million vehicles. Besides the civil penalty, Fiat Chrysler agreed to an independent recall monitor and strict federal oversight.

TIME mergers

U.S. Greenlights AT&T and DirecTV Merger

at&t direct tv
Tim Boyle—Bloomberg/Getty Images, Rebecca Sapp—Getty Images

With conditions about expanding broadband access and preserving competition

It’s official: AT&T can complete its purchase of satellite TV provider DirecTV now that the FCC has now approved the final conditions of the merger. The approval was not a surprise but many have been wondering what terms the agency would impose on a deal that will create the country’s biggest pay-TV provider, and has implications for internet policy.

On Friday, the FCC published a news release that set out the terms AT&T will have to follow. They are related to expanding broadband access and preserving competition, and can be summed up like this:

  • Expanding “Fiber to the Premises” to 12.5 million customers: under the deal, AT&T pledges to deploy high speed fiber internet offerings to millions. The FCC says this will help offset any reduced competition in the TV market.
  • Discount broadband for low-income consumers: AT&T will have to provide standalone broadband service (as opposed to a bundle of video and broadband) at a reasonable price to certain consumers.
  • Fiber to schools and libraries: AT&T’s fiber build out will have to reach schools and libraries, which are eligible for federally subsidized broadband rates.
  • Net neutrality for data caps: AT&T’s home internet service comes with data caps. To ensure comply with net neutrality rules, AT&T pledges it will treat all incoming video the same and not exclude DirecTV service from any such caps.
  • Report on interconnection deals: the FCC’s net neutrality rules only apply to consumers, and not at a deeper level of the internet where broadband providers connect to websites. To ensure AT&T doesn’t abuse its power at this deeper level (ie by throttling Netflix), it will have to disclose any “interconnection” agreements so the FCC can ensure they’re not unreasonable.

The terms will remain in place for four years after the merger closes.

The merger go-ahead and conditions were passed by Chairman Tom Wheeler and the agency’s two other Democratic Commissioners. One Republican Commissioner, Michael O’Reilly, concurred in part and the other, Ajit Pai, dissented in part.

The conditions set down on Friday are consistent with Wheeler’s larger priorities of expanding broadband, and making it affordable to all Americans. Earlier this month, the FCC and Google announced a program to bring free fiber access to a number of public housing projects.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Retail

Amazon Is Now Worth More Than Walmart

Leon Neal—AFP/Getty Images A picture shows the logo of the online retailer Amazon dispalyed on computer screens in London on Dec.11, 2014.

Its shares were up by double digits in after-hours trading

Amazon’s market cap has risen past Walmart’s in after-hours trading Thursday after it posted earnings that topped estimates.

On Thursday afternoon, Amazon’s shares were up nearly 17% as of 4:30p.m. EST to $563 per share from $482 at the market close.

The boost put the e-commerce giant ahead of Walmart by market cap: Amazon’s market cap stands at approximately $250 billion versus Walmart’s at around $230 billion, according to Quartz.

Amazon posted profit during the second quarter of 19 cents a share on $23.18 billion in revenue, according to CNBC. But Wall Street expected the site to actually lose 14 cents a share on $22.39 billion in revenue.

Amazon Cloud sales also surged during the quarter and were up 82% year-over-year.

Walmart is still the world’s largest company by revenue, and recently topped the Fortune Global 500.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Companies

Financial Times Group Sold to Japanese Media Giant

Nikkei Inc. is the largest business media group in Asia

(LONDON) — Pearson PLC, the owner of the Financial Times, says it has agreed to sell FT Group to Nikkei Inc. for 844 million pounds ($1.3 billion). It says the amount is payable in cash.

Nikkei Inc. is the largest independent business media group in Asia, with flagship newspaper Nikkei as its core.

Pearson chief executive John Fallon says Pearson has been a proud proprietor of the FT for nearly 60 years but that in the current news environment, the best way to ensure the FT’s journalistic and commercial success is for it to be part of a global, digital news company.

Fallon says Pearson will now focus fully on its global education strategy.

Nikkei Chairman and CEO Tsuneo Kita says he is “extremely proud” to team with the FT.

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