Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- Visa is set to buy Plaid, the buzzy fintech that powers apps like Betterment and Venmo, for $5.3 billion. Visa CEO and chairman Al Kelly said in a statement that the deal “will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers.”
- Jeffrey Epstein set Elon Musk’s brother up with a girlfriend in effort to get close to the Tesla founder, sources said. Multi-millionaire sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein introduced Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, to a woman in his entourage, two sources tell Business Insider.
- Apple is offering ‘no substantive assistance’ to the FBI in unlocking two iPhones related to a mass shooting, according to the US Attorney General. Attorney General William Barr told reporters that the tech giant had declined requests to unlock the smartphones after a shooting last month at a Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
- US intelligence officials have challenged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s claim that the country can mitigate the risks of adopting Huawei’s 5G network. A dossier presented to the UK government said it would be “nothing short of madness” to adopt the Chinese tech giant’s technology in the country’s 5G network.
- Thousands of angry Indians are planning to disrupt a visit from Jeff Bezos by staging mass protests over Amazon’s disruption of retail. Members of the a leading Indian small business group, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), say they will mobilize between 100,000 and 500,000 people to protest against the Amazon CEO when he visits this week.
- Russian hackers allegedly hacked the Ukrainian energy company at the center of the Trump impeachment. The hacks began in early November when news of President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and Burisma, the company which Hunter Biden was a board member of, were at the top of the news agenda.
- Indian authorities have ordered an investigation into Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart over alleged violations of competition law. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered a probe into whether the US companies offered “preferred sellers” which hurt other businesses, in another blow to e-commerce giants in the country.
- SoftBank and pizza tech startup Zume had a letter of intent in December for a funding deal that never happened, and it left the startup stranded. The startup ended up having no choice but to cut hundreds of jobs and give up on robots this month as a result.
- Nintendo is planning to open a life-sized video game at Universal Studios Japan this summer. Super Nintendo World is slated to open in Osaka and will let users collect coins and battle bosses in real life through their smartphones.
- Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has deleted his Facebook account over political ads. The actor said that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg “values profit over truthfulness” in a tweet.
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