This was not a good week for the major corporations of the world. Volkswagen‘s diesel scandal has all but erased its bottom line, Uber paid big to settle a pair of class-action lawsuits, Apple threw a bunch of money at a patent troll to make it go away (but only for three years) and, the FBI spent over a million dollars opening the San Bernardino iPhone. Here’s who paid what and why, by the numbers.
$18.2 billion This diesel emissions scandal has Volkswagen hemorrhaging cash. The company already took a $4.61 billion operating loss in 2015, it had to fork over $450 million to restructure its automotive division and now VW will have to pay out $5000 to each of the affected drivers. In all, Volkswagen is looking a total cost of $18.2 billion for its CO2 boondoggle.
$100 Million Uber’s not doing much better. The ridesharing company lost two — count ’em two — class-action lawsuits this week and will have to pay plaintiffs in California and Massachusetts a total of $100 million. On the other hand, Uber did win the right to keep treating its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees so it’s a bit of a wash.
$178 million (US) The Australian government has had enough of these hacking shenanigans and has decided to invest 230 million dollars (AU) in its national cybersecurity capabilities. The funds will go towards providing security checks for small and medium-sized businesses as well as relocating the Australian Cyber Security Center to a more accessible site.
$1.3 million That’s how much the geniuses at the FBI paid for their “third-party solution” to get into the San Bernardino iPhone, which — surprise, surprise — contained absolutely nothing of interest or value to the case. Really worthwhile investment. Great job guys.
$500 million Financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the eSports industry — literally people sitting around watching other people sit around and play video games — will be worth half a billion dollars in 2016. What a time to be alive.
$24.9 million Apple just paid a boatload of money to not be sued over patents relating to Siri’s natural voice recognition functions. But only for the next three years. Come 2020, you can expect to see that patent troll come a-knocking once more.