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Recode Daily: Lyft is threatening to sue Morgan Stanley, saying it created a product to short sell its stocks

Plus: Westworld creators move to Amazon, Americans think social media is a waste of time, and Google’s internal ethics board raises questions for some.

Picture of a car windshield with a Lyft sticker on it.
Lyft is threatening to sue Morgan Stanley
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft is going after Morgan Stanley, following reports that the firm was selling a product to help investors short sell the ride-sharing company’s stock. Last week, the New York Post reported that Morgan Stanley — the lead underwriter for Lyft’s main rival Uber — was helping investors bet on a drop in Lyft’s stock prices. In response, Lyft sent a letter to Morgan Stanley demanding answers and threatening litigation, according to CNBC. Morgan Stanley has denied the claims, telling CNBC that “[A]ny suggestion that Morgan Stanley has engaged in an effort to apply ‘short pressure’ to Lyft is false.” The situation could turn out to be a big battle around one of several major tech IPOs this year.
[Deirdre Bosa and Leslie Picker / CNBC]

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Westworld’s married-couple creators have reportedly signed a $30 million per-year deal to create shows for Amazon. The duo behind the mega popular HBO series Westworld will work for Amazon on a reported five-year deal to create new shows for the streaming service. “We can’t wait to dive in to make some batshit crazy television together.” said Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan in a joint statement. The pair will continue to develop the popular Westworld series for Warner Bros. TV, which is in production for its third season and is expected to be renewed for another. As the Hollywood Reporter writes, “Joy and Nolan become the latest showrunners to move their overall deals at a time when streamers like Netflix have created a war for top talent.”
[Lesley Goldberg / The Hollywood Reporter]

Almost 70 percent of Americans use social media once a day, and 82 percent believe it’s a waste of time, according to a new poll released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC. A clear majority of people — 57 percent — polled also thought that social media is harming society, saying that it “divides” people. However, about the same number of people also thought that “technology has more benefits than drawbacks,” because it of its efficiency and economic contributions. People were close to evenly split about whether they think the major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook should be split up, with 47 percent agreeing and 50 percent disagreeing.
[Mark Murray / NBC News]

Google’s external ethics board ended in controversy, but its relatively unknown internal one “with actual power” still exists. Last week, Google disbanded its external ethics board amid controversy over its membership. However, an internal privacy board made up of its own executives, which was created last year, still exists. A new Bloomberg report provides some details about this board, including its members, such as Google’s chief legal officer Kent Walker and its head of AI Jeff Dean. The board’s goal is to “represent diverse, international, cross-functional points of view that can look beyond immediate commercial concerns,” according to internal Google documents cited in the Bloomberg article. Whether or not the board is providing sufficient ethical oversight is up for debate — and hard to know without understanding more details about how it works.
[Joshua Brustein and Mark Bergen / Bloomberg]

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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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