10 things in tech you need to know today, October 1

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  1. Facebook removed dozens of Trump ads that falsely blamed refugees for spread of COVID-19. “We don’t allow claims that people’s physical safety, health, or survival is threatened by people on the basis of their national origin or immigration status,” a Facebook spokesperson told NBC. 
  2. Palantir officially began trading via direct listing on Wednesday. The New York Stock Exchange established a reference price of $7.25 per share, valuing the company at about $16 billion ahead of its official debut.
  3. Facebook is merging its Messenger and Instagram direct message features, allowing users on Instagram to send chats to people on Facebook and vice versa. The news comes over a year after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was planning to integrate its Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms.
  4. Google unveiled the Pixel 5, its next flagship smartphone. Google’s Pixel line doesn’t have as big of a presence in the market as it rivals from Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, but the company often uses the phones to introduce new Android features.
  5. Apple is giving CEO Tim Cook over $38 million in stock to stay with the company through 2025. Cook could earn an additional 333,987 shares in Apple stock — which could vest at 200% of their value — depending on Apple’s performance across that period.
  6. The UK government overrode warnings its $1 billion startup rescue fund risked wasting taxpayer money on second-tier companies. A newly published letter from March reveals the CEO of the British Business Bank thought there was insufficient evidence that the Future Fund could provide taxpayers “good value for money.”
  7. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the SEC to investigate secretive data firm Palantir before it hit the stock exchange. Among the congresswoman’s concerns is Palantir’s longtime penchant for secrecy, which she wrote could hurt future investors.
  8. China is reportedly preparing an antitrust investigation into Google at Huawei’s request. Huawei suggested the probe last year, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
  9. Google is reportedly committing to the future of the office by taking extra workspace near its London HQ. The tech giant is also extending a lease of a 160,000 square foot office building in the city that was due to expire in 2021.
  10. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey criticized Coinbase’s CEO for telling his employees not to engage in activism, Bloomberg reports. “#Bitcoin (aka “crypto”) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society,” Dorsey tweeted on Wednesday.

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