SpaceX raises $1 billion from Google, Fidelity
SpaceX has raised $1 billion from Google and Fidelity in a deal that values the spaceship manufacturer at about $10 billion. The infusion will give Google Inc. and Fidelity Investments a nearly 10 percent stake in SpaceX, a Hawthorne, Calif., company that employs more than 3,000 people. Although privately held SpaceX didn't reveal any concrete plans, the money could help founder Elon Musk realize his hopes to fly people to Mars within the next 12 years and eventually build a city on the planet. Donald Harrison, who oversees Google's corporate development team, will be joining SpaceX's board of directors as part of the company's investment.
Facebook says it can help sniff out hoaxes
Facebook has a new fix for fibs. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media company said that it has updated its service to reduce the number of hoaxes that appear in users' news feeds. These posts — which include scams or deliberately false or misleading news stories — can annoy users. Facebook will look at how often users report an item as false — a new feature — and how often users delete the item. Facebook won't remove the items. But it will reduce how often offending posts show up in news feeds. Posts will also appear with a message saying that many others on Facebook have reported it as false.
U.S. settles in case of fake Facebook page
The Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a fake Facebook page in her identity, a tactic that raised privacy concerns and led to a federal government review of the ruse, according to court papers. The government did not admit wrongdoing as part of its settlement with Sondra Arquiett, which comes months after a judge referred both sides into mediation. But after initially defending the practice, the Justice Department said last October that it would review whether the undercover tactic went too far and ultimately reached what one official described as a "fair resolution."
Starboard urges Office Depot-Staples merger
Activist investor Starboard Value has written a letter to Staples' CEO, urging a merger with Office Depot. The investor has about a 10 percent stake in Boca Raton, Fla.-based Office Depot and about 5 percent in Staples, which is based in Framingham, Mass. Starboard Value's letter to Staples Chairman and CEO Ronald Sargent says: "We believe that the best way to maximize value for Staples' shareholders is through exploring and completing a business combination with Office Depot. For a variety of reasons, we believe that now is the right time to pursue such a transaction."
Ford to export Mustang overseas for first time
For the first time in six generations of Mustangs, Ford is putting the pony car on a trip abroad — to overseas markets. The automaker is loading the first of the recently redesigned Mustangs onto a ship in Portland, Ore., that's headed for China. The first exports are headed to Asia with cars for Europe — including right-hand drive Mustangs, scheduled for later this year. "Henry Ford exported the sixth Model A assembled in 1903, and we continue this legacy today," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas. "Exporting Ford and Lincoln vehicles to Asia Pacific and beyond is an important part of Ford's global growth story."