Briefing

Jeff Zucker Lobbying for Top ESPN Job

(Deadline)

This is a new name in the public jockeying for the top TV sports job, but one that makes sense. Mr. Zucker has had a long career in television, though one might argue had mixed results, particularly at NBCUniversal. And he has been controversial at CNN, mixing things up with President Trump and bringing on some questionable guests. But he is someone who knows how to run a large television company. Interestingly, both the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline broke this new candidate’s name at the same time, which could indicate that one source is talking widely. Or that Bob Iger’s choice for this coveted job in cable TV could be decided soon. –Tom


Amazon Buying Security Startup Sqrrl

(The Information)

Multiple sources tell The Information that a deal has been reached for Amazon to acquire Sqrrl. The startup has raised $26.5 million in funding to date and sells tools for security analysts to find and investigate security threats. Reports first emerged late last year that the two companies had been talking about a deal. For Amazon, this is a natural fit as the company looks to expand its cybersecurity portfolio and offer its users new ways to secure themselves on its cloud services. –Sarah


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Google, Tencent Partner on Patents

(The Information)

Google and Tencent, two of the world’s biggest tech companies, announced a cross-licensing agreement over a broad range of patents. There aren’t a lot of details about what kind of technologies would be targeted. Such agreements are common, and can prevent nasty patent lawsuits as engineers build new products. The agreement doesn’t herald Google’s return to China (though having Tencent onside doesn’t hurt in government relations). It does however highlight growing homegrown innovation coming out of China. Last year, China for the first time became one of the top five U.S. patent recipients. More narrowly, this hints at Google’s belief that Tencent will be an increasingly important player globally, not just in China. –Shai


Sequoia’s Moritz Pens Chilling Column on Future of Work

(Financial Times)

This column by famous Silicon Valley investor Michael Moritz was meant to push your buttons. Moritz paints a depressing picture of Chinese workers who give up their lives and their children to work round-the-clock for tech companies. But here’s the thing: American tech companies already have access to a similar labor force in the form of H-1B workers who will work all day and all night for little pay, right here in the U.S. The best companies have learned, though, that the cheapest labor isn’t always the best labor. Those companies pay wages to H-1B workers comparable to what they pay Americans. (The numbers are public on the USCIS web site). Through this lens, Moritz’s argument doesn’t hold water. –Reed