And the current record? Another fine against Google: $2.7 billion, last year, for favoring its own services in search results.
So far, though, European consumers still seem more than happy with Google’s products, and the company’s stock price and profits continue to climb. Unless the U.S. joins the fray, the E.U.’s lonely battle may do little to check the power of Silicon Valley’s titans.
Trump is Facebook’s biggest political advertiser
The president and his political action committee have spent $274,000 on Facebook ads since early May, N.Y.U. researchers calculated using the social network’s data. (Planned Parenthood was second, with $188,000.) Of the 449 biggest spenders, 210 were left-wing, 124 right-wing and 115 politically neutral. The researchers don’t yet have totals for Republicans and Democrats.
Facebook was criticized this week for doing too much to please conservatives. The WSJ reports that some news executives are concerned that it’s balancing mainstream outlets with explicitly right-leaning ones like The Daily Caller. Meanwhile, a senior Facebook policy executive, Monika Bickert, apologized to two pro-Trump vloggers, known as Diamond and Silk, during her House testimony.
More Facebook news: A reporter who went undercover as a moderator for the social network was told not to remove hate speech.
Europe takes advantage of the U.S. trade war
President Trump this week branded Europe an economic foe of America, after berating NATO members. So the E.U. is looking for better friends — and appears to be finding them in Asia.
■ The E.U. yesterday signed its largest trade deal ever, with Japan, cutting tariffs sharply on cheese and wine, and gradually on cars. Together, the signatories are a quarter of the global economy.
■ Beijing appears focused on investments in Europe, not the U.S. The law firm Baker McKenzie finds that China struck $22 billion of new deals in Europe in the first half of 2018, and $2.5 billion in the U.S. Completed deals in America fell 92 percent against last year.
But America remains a huge trading power. As Holger Schmieding, the chief economist at Berenberg, a bank based in Hamburg, told the NYT, the new agreements are “damage limitation rather than compensation.”
Andreessen Horowitz changed a famous rule to improve diversity
One of the venture capital titan’s founding principles was that all its general partners had to have founded or led a company. That rule is gone, helping the firm name its first female general partners, Katie Haun and Connie Chan.
More from Theodore Schleifer of Recode:
The rule has been frequently criticized in hushed tones in Silicon Valley by diversity advocates as an example of the types of hurdles that women and minorities face professionally.
The firm’s co-founder Ben Horowitz wrote in a blog post that the rule had to go before it drove away talents like Ms. Chan, who was promoted internally. The big question now: What will other venture firms do to improve their diversity?
John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s, now says he regrets quitting after being accused of using a racial slur. (NYT)
Brian Crutcher resigned as C.E.O. of Texas Instruments after a month. The company said he had violated its code of conduct. (NYT)
Marwan Farwaz stepped down as C.E.O. of Nest as the business was folded into Google’s home devices division. (CNET)
The speed read
■ The biggest beneficiary of the Trump administration’s approach to media mergers? Rupert Murdoch. (Bloomberg)
■ Private equity firms aren’t just raising big funds. They’re raising fees on them, too. (Bloomberg)
■ Some venture capital firms are changing their funds’ terms to invest in initial coin offerings. (Fortune)
Politics and policy
■ A new White House council will help workers retrain for high-demand jobs, Ivanka Trump writes in an op-ed. (WSJ)
■ Walmart might take on Netflix and Amazon with a low-cost online streaming platform. (Information)
■ A.I. experts, including the co-founders of Google’s machine learning subsidiary DeepMind, have pledged not to create killer robots. (Verge)
■ Mastercard has patented a way to put Bitcoin transactions on a credit card. (CNBC)
Best of the rest
■ Women who earn more than their husbands don’t like to talk about it; neither do the husbands. (Upshot)
■ Avon, a pioneer of door-to-door cosmetic sales, is turning to tech. (Bloomberg)
■ Fancy an Aperol spritz? Blame advertising. (NYT)
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News credit : Nytimes