By Alan Murray and Geoffrey Smith
April 22, 2016

Uber said last night that it has settled a pair of closely-watched class action lawsuits that turned on whether the ride-hailing company had misclassified its drivers as contractors.

 

The deal will cost Uber up to $100 million in compensation and require changes in how it deals with its drivers. But significantly, it maintains the drivers’ status as independent contractors. “Drivers value their independence,” CEO Travis Kalanick said in a blog post, “the freedom to push a button rather than to punch a clock.”

 

If the settlement is approved, the resolution could lift a major legal cloud over the future of Uber and other on-demand services, and accelerate growth in the so-called “gig economy.”

 

Also today, Fortune is publishing Cliff Leaf’s story from the May magazine that takes a deeper look at Napster-founder Sean Parker’s recently announced plan to spend $250 million to hack cancer. This isn’t just another billionaire’s random act of philanthropy. Parker has managed to get six of the top cancer immunology centers in the world to coordinate their efforts through his institute, sharing data and centrally managing their IP, in hopes of accelerating a cure. It’s a fascinating new undertaking at the intersection of medicine and technology, which is a very busy intersection these days and one that Fortune is devoting more attention to. You can read the full story here.

 

More news below. Enjoy the weekend.

 

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

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