The daily business briefing: April 22, 2016

Samantha Rollins
Obama arrives in Britain
AP Photo/Alastair Grant Pool


Obama urges Britain to stay in EU

President Obama weighed in on Britain's coming referendum on whether to withdraw the UK from the EU (a movement known as "Brexit") in an op-ed he wrote for The Daily Telegraph. Most of the article is dedicated to the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Britain, but Obama also tells Britain that "the U.S. and the world need your outsized influence to continue — including within Europe." As part of his visit to Britain on Friday, Obama will have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, and dine with Prince William, Duchess Kate, and Prince Harry at Kensington Palace. [The Daily Telegraph]


Uber to pay $100 million to settle driver suits

Uber has agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle lawsuits with its drivers in California and Massachusetts over whether they are independent contractors or employees. The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company will pay an initial sum of $84 million to the estimated 385,000 drivers involved in the class-action suit; if the company's valuation grows to 150 percent its current value, it will tack on an additional $16 million. The drivers in the suit argued they should be considered employees, not freelancers, and receive worker protections and expense reimbursement. The settlement allows Uber to maintain the drivers' status as independent contractors, a key component for the company's on-demand business model. [The Los Angeles Times]


Report: Black neighborhoods underserved by Amazon free same-day delivery

An in-depth analysis by Bloomberg reveals that black neighborhoods are underserved by Amazon Prime's new free same-day delivery service to varying degrees. In New York City, for example, the service is available in all boroughs except the Bronx, and some majority-black neighborhoods of Queens. While Amazon says it does not take demographics into account in determining which neighborhoods will get the new Prime service, a company spokesman said Amazon is focusing the service on zip codes with high concentrations of Prime members. [Bloomberg]


Gender pay gap among college graduates grows

A new report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Thursday reveals that the gender pay gap among college graduates is actually growing. "Young male college graduates earned 8.1 percent more in 2016 than in 2000, while young female college graduates earned 6.8 percent less than in 2000," one of the report's authors said. That translates to college-educated men earning $20.94 an hour and college-educated women earning just $16.58 per hour — a difference that adds up to $8,000 over the course of a year. [The Guardian]


MTV to launch first regular live music series in nearly 2 decades

MTV is bringing back its first weekly live music series in almost two decades and re-launching its MTV Unplugged performance series in an effort to put the "music" back in its music television moniker. "We are re-asserting our DNA," MTV president Sean Atkins said. "MTV has to be the network that gives voice to youth and gives artists a voice to speak to youth. Music is our muse." Along the lines of Total Request Live, the weekly music show Wonderland will host concerts in a loft in downtown Los Angeles. The network will also be bringing back Cribs via Snapchat, plus 14 new series including a music competition show. [Bloomberg]