Notable business headlines include the Biden administration wanting to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes, Amazon's Audible signing a podcast deal with the Obamas, and Uber and Lyft drivers filing lawsuits against the rideshare companies.
JULIE HYMAN: Some other headlines we're watching at this hour, the Biden administration plans to drastically reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. Under the proposed rule, cigarettes sold in the US are to have minimal or non-addictive nicotine contents. That effort is part of the administration's plan to fight addiction and cancer deaths. The Food and Drug Administration had advocated for such a move, but was unable to secure backing from the office of the president until now. Separately, the FDA is planning to ban the sale of Juul e-cigarettes from the US market. That's according to "The Wall Street Journal."
Amazon's Audible snapping up the Obamas' podcast away from Spotify. Audible will exclusively host podcasts created by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground. Spotify, remember, had earlier struck a deal with the production company in 2019 for a series of podcasts featuring the Obamas. Spotify has been aggressively growing its podcast offerings, attracting controversy with an exclusive deal to host "The Joe Rogan Experience."
And rideshare drivers are hitting back at what they say is opaque pricing. A new lawsuit from three ride hailing drivers filed in California accuses Uber and Lyft of price fixing and other unfair business practices that they say helped enforce a duopoly. The drivers say the algorithms and methods used to price rides are completely opaque and outside of drivers' control, even though drivers are considered independent contractors. Brad.
BRAD SMITH: The pricing is opaque to a lot of consumers, too, on that front. We'll see if there's any resolution that comes forward there. Thanks so much, Julie.