UBER WORK

New Uber App to Pair Gig Workers With Employers (WSJ)

UBER is adding another useful tool to its portfolio for people operating in the gig economy. First, it allowed people to earn compensation for driving people around on their spare time. Then UBER allowed people to earn income by delivering food. Now, UBER is prepared to help people find temporary work.

UBER Work will connect people seeking temporary employment with employers offering such positions. UBER Work will compete with other tech startups in this space as well as the network of staffing and temp agencies that market these type of roles.

This venture could help add revenue when its core business faces great challenges.

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FILLING THE GAP

UPS Bets on Amazon, Despite Risk – The Wall Street Journal

While FedEx distances its self from Amazon, its biggest competitor is filling that gap. Amazon related revenue is 1.3% for FedEx while it is 10% at UPS.

Amazon may be working it’s way to competing in their market, there is still money to be made by both. The move to develop a network of local delivery companies may not work out, making the relationship with global shoppers more vital.

 

ENTERTAINMENT’S LEGAL BATTLE

RECENT LAWSUITS IN MUSIC (WSJ)

Recent judgments against musicians, their labels, and producers make it more expensive to lack authentic creativity. Or at the very least requires the payment of a licensing fee to the person who owns the IP for the song, lyric, or musical element.

For decades, artists faced legal challenges from fellow artists for elements of their songs that are similar to theirs. Some claims appeared to be desperate money grabs, while others were deemed legitimate in eyes of a court. In the cases listed in the WSJ article, federal courts awarded over $8 million in damages where some legal minds felt the judgments went.

The appropriate path to avoid cost of litigation is to enter a royalties agreement before the song is released. Understandably, artists and production teams may not be able to identify every possible claim, but a proactive approach upfront can reduce a significant judgment later when the song is a hit.

HEALTHCARE COST

Insurance Transparency (WSJ)

Transparency in cost can prove helpful to consumers. An important question to ask is whether informed consumers will have enough market power to drive down prices in the face of consolidation of health systems and private practices.

The effort to drive down consumer cost needs to include the elimination of unneeded services that do not impact health outcomes, but allow providers to charge additional fees. There could be cost savings in limiting or bundling charges for follow up appointments where patients do not actually receive care. This might help save patients some time and money at the same time, making the most of each visit to reduce the repeat visits.

The push to reduce prescription drug prices is important to reduce the gap between American and international buyers. But, the funding for research and development need to remain. Molecular drugs as well as biologics are not cheap to formulate, test, and market. But, consumers should receive fair prices, especially for life critical medications.