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Today we celebrate a bit of oversight over an industry that has been allowed to prey on those less fortunate for way too long — Devin reports that the FCC is taking a more firm hand in overseeing the prison phone system in a simple bill, giving the regulatory body the power “to ensure just and reasonable charges for telephone and advanced communications services in correctional and detention facilities.”
In other captivating news, the Daily Crunch will be back next week in a slightly diminished form, as both Christine and Haje disappear for the holidays. The full newsletter will be back soon, and the two of us wish you a very happy Christmas if you celebrate, a very peaceful holiday if you do not, and a magnificently prosperous 2023, in either case. Much love, Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 4
- Meta settles: After years of pushing back against a lawsuit, Meta has agreed to a $725 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit over Cambridge Analytica harvesting data from Facebook users. Paul has more.
- Breathe in that fresh air: Mila, the maker of a smart air purifier that came from humble beginnings on Kickstarter, scored $10 million in a round led by Electrolux. This gives it a $52 million valuation and the backing to add some smarts to a new product — a humidifier, Haje writes.
- Charge it up: It looks like Tesla is #winning in a space that Apple couldn’t make work. The automaker unveiled its $300 charging mat that can recharge three devices at once, Matt reports.
- The results are in: Dominic-Madori surveyed three Black investors about what they are prepping for in 2023. Read the full version on TechCrunch+.
Holiday shipping is easier this year, but the tech is still lagging
Global supply lines are in better shape than they were this time last year, but that doesn’t bode well for the future, writes Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen.
“This year’s improvements in shipping largely reflect a pullback in consumption rather than any improvement in the underlying infrastructure,” he says, noting that labor shortages, global instability and high fuel prices have created persistent bottlenecks.
“Fortunately, the data available today is rich beyond measure, and we also have the tools to leverage it in ways that can boost efficiency.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Cloud money makes it rain: While Amazon had a rocky year, AWS remains a reliable cash cow, by Ron.
- Big, clean stacks of money: Clean energy investments may close 2022 hitting new heights, setting stage for lofty 2023, by Tim.
- Tearing down the Card Blanch: Pitch Deck Teardown: Card Blanch’s $460K deck for its angel round, by Haje.
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
We enjoyed Ingrid’s in-depth look at how decentralized social media player Mastodon is scaling as Twitter users decamp to search for other ways to post everything they are thinking. TechCrunch+ subscribers — if you’re not one, you can be easily — can also read her Q&A with Mastodon creator Eugen Rochko.
If you are a LastPass user like many of us here at TechCrunch, you might want to check your email if you haven’t already. LastPass says hackers stole some customers’ password vaults. Zack says it’s time to change your passwords.
Google isn’t taking India’s latest fine lying down. Manish reports the search engine giant is appealing the hundreds of millions of dollars in fines ordered against it over business practices on Android.
And we have four more for you:
- Can there be a fair election in social media land?: Annie writes that “botched content moderation” during Kenya’s elections last year leaves other countries with questions about what social media companies, like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, will do to uphold election integrity in Africa as their elections happen.
- Persistence or annoyance?: @ElonJet creator Jack Sweeney has a new Twitter handle now, still following Elon Musk’s jet, but now delayed, writes Connie. Meanwhile, if you’re Twitter Blue, you can now upload 60-minute videos, Ivan reports. Not sure any of us will stay long enough to watch one, so good luck with those new view counts.
- Separated: India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart no longer owns a stake in PhonePe, Manish writes.
- This move has Tesla investors shaking their heads: Tesla’s $7,500 discount feels desperate and is “giving investors the ick,” writes Rebecca, causing one to cut its price target for the automaker.