A verdict that split in favor of Big Tech
a federal judge split decision on friday The high-profile case between Apple and Epic Games, which prevented Apple from declaring a monopoly but said it was competitive, allowed both sides of the argument to claim victory. decision also closed Celebrations among developers who said the ruling would allow them to avoid Apple’s 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. One of those developers, Spotify, said it was pleased with the ruling.
Conversely, so did Apple. This suggests that more coverage of the ruling, which represented a meaningful setback for the tech giant over the weekend, whose shares fell on the news, should be taken with a grain of salt. It is also telling that the epic filed an appeal against yesterday’s decision
A quick recap: Epic sued Apple in August last year after the iPhone maker removed Epic’s popular game Fortnite from its App Store. Apple said the developer broke its rules by steering players to make purchases outside of Apple’s App Store, bypassing Apple’s ability to collect commissions on in-app purchases. Epic said in its lawsuit that Apple violated antitrust laws by forcing developers to use its payment system and refusing to inform app users about alternative methods of payment.
The judge sided with Apple on questions of monopoly. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote, “While the Court finds that Apple enjoys a market share of more than 55% and an exceptionally high profit margin, these factors alone do not show antitrust conduct.” “Success is not illegal.” But she said Apple’s policy against steering developers by forcing them to withhold information from consumers was competitive under California state law, and therefore should not be allowed anywhere, not only within the state.
The main strike against Apple is open to interpretation. The judge’s order on Apple’s steering rules has plenty of room for interpretation, which states that Apple may not require developers to “include their apps and their metadata in buttons, external links, or other calls to action that drive customers to purchase.” Directs to the mechanism. Apart from in-app purchases,” the judge’s ruling said.
There is an ongoing debate about the difference between buttons and links, which could make the effect of the ruling less significant than it seems. If a button, such as a shopping cart icon or a “pay now” call-out, Not there Similar to a link, then Apple could interpret the decision as allowing things that look like buttons but not take users to external sites when they tap them. This could lead to further fights between Apple and the developers.
Legal experts said the decision was not a road map for future antitrust lawsuits, Rather there is another dead end for those who want to rein in the tech giant through the courts. This is more evidence of “how narrow our federal antitrust laws are,” Eleanor Fox, an antitrust law scholar at NYU, told DealBook. “Some people are saying it’s a big win for Epic, but it may not be.”
Apple said it needed to control the entire App Store ecosystem to ensure privacy and keep consumers from getting ripped off, and the judges basically agreed. In fact, Judge Gonzalez Rogers argued that a world where Apple has no ability to defend its commission would be unfair. “The ruling reflects the gap between the popular perception of what a monopoly is and what the law says,” Fox said. And that, in turn, “gives great ammunition to those pushing in Congress to change the laws,” she said.
What’s going on over here
Beijing reportedly wants to break up Alipay. As part of the Chinese government crackdown on the domestic tech giant, Financial Times report that regulator The fintech company, which is part of Jack Ma’s Ant Group, could be ordered to divest its lending business and turn user data into a partially state-owned credit scoring joint venture. It follows a recent rumble that state-backed companies would share in ant group.
The stock market seems to be rebounding from a tough week. Futures are up today, marked after five days of losses longest stretch of down days from February. but increasing numbers Wall Street Strategist There is a warning that there may be further downside in the market.
Democrats outline tax increases for the richest businesses and individuals. Plan The House Is Moving Between Democrats It is proposed to raise the corporate tax rate to 26.5 percent for companies reporting income in excess of $5 million, the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 percent for individuals and raise the capital gains tax rate to 25 percent. The plan is less aggressive than President Biden previously proposed, with projected revenue falling short of fully funding the White House’s $3.5 trillion spending plans.
Whirlpool is offering employees $1,000 in vaccinations, Dealbook has learned. Announced incentives for employees last week, Biden ordered OSHA to require companies with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated or face weekly testing. This morning, the Consumer Brands Association, a trade group, wrote to Biden with a long list of questions its members have about the order, indicating confusion in companies About how to implement the vaccine mandate.
business and economy
Kansas City is back with the Southern Canadian Pacific. The railroad operator said yesterday that it $29 billion takeover offer considered Better than higher bid from Canadian Pacific than Canadian National. Canadian National was the preferred contender until a regulatory snag was hit in its bid to build the first railroad to connect all of North America, and would receive a $700 million breakup fee if it lost the bidding war. Will happen.
A new type of advisory firm
As companies focus more on diversity, political engagement and working with a wider range of stakeholders, their consulting needs have changed in turn. Consultants are getting ready to meet this demand. Today, John Haynes, a former restructuring partner at Kirkland & Ellis, is launching Sea Street Advisory to provide CEO and boardroom advice on issues related to business, politics and social justice.
The firm blends Haynes’ experience and relationships in Kirkland with his time as national finance president for Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign and co-finance chair for Ray McGuire’s New York mayoral campaign.
Sea Street has four main functions: corporate advice, as Haynes did in Kirkland; Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (also known as DEI); employee recruitment and retention; and communication. Sea Street will compete with advisory firms such as Teneo, among others, which have focused their attention on helping clients navigate the complex social issues facing companies today. “It’s not just about checking boxes, it’s really about helping to create value in corporations,” Haynes told DealBook.
The firm has already hired around 15 people. These include Beth Kojima, director of special events for McGuire’s mayoral campaign; Melissa Prober, former deputy general counselor at the Clinton Foundation; Al Tillery, founding director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University; and Lisa Hernandez Gioia, who handled communications for Hudson Yards. Board members include Minnie Moore, who previously worked in the Clinton White House, and prominent entertainment attorney Matt Johnson.
“We’ve been a little peace-loving general at a time when, in fact, we’re at war again.”
–Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundation, which was started by billionaire investor George Soros and is now the second largest private charitable foundation in America. undergoing a restructuring, which includes purchases for more than 150 employees, as it focuses on fighting the rise in authoritarianism around the world.
price Check: Tomorrow, investors will scrutinize the August data for the Consumer Price Index Is high inflation temporary. Some of the recent hikes were in categories where prices had fallen since lockdown orders took effect last year, such as airline tickets, or for items such as cars that have been hit by shortages. Another sign that inflation may be temporary? is in prices is also populated in advanced economies around the world – Despite very different policy approaches in response to the pandemic.
Poverty Report: The Census Bureau will also release its annual report on income and poverty in the US tomorrow. Despite the huge increase in unemployment, poverty is expected to increase slightly over the past year, indicating that government aid helped offset the economic impact of the pandemic.
New iPhones: Apple is set to unveil its latest smartphones at a virtual event tomorrow. (Tuesday is shaping up to be a busy day.) Camera upgrades, battery life improvements, and other changes to iPhones, smart watches, laptops, and other products is expected.
From Times Machine: On this day in 1956, IBM unveiled four computers, which the times called “Think Units” designed to assist factories and offices with accounting and typing. One of the devices, Ramac, costs $3,200 per month to rent. The president of the electronics company, Thomas J. Watson Jr. said the launch was the “biggest product day” in the history of IBM and in the history of the office equipment industry as a whole.
Blackstone’s $3 billion acquisition of Soho China wiped out more than 30 percent of the asset firm’s share price. (NYT)
The consortium, wanting to buy Sydney Airport, raised its bid to $17.4 billion and obtained permission to do due diligence. (Reuters)
Credit reporting company TransUnion is reportedly close to a $3.1 billion deal for information-services company Neustar. (WSJ)
Ireland, the EU’s leading data protection regulator, has failed to address 98 percent of complaints about privacy abuses. (foot)
After the state passes a restrictive law on abortion, Salesforce will help relocate employees who want to leave Texas. (NBC)
Security experts are concerned that increased use of cryptocurrencies in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan could hinder efforts to ban the group. (WSJ)
Corporate America has pledged to fight racism and support black Americans, but a similar initiative launched decades ago in Rochester shows that it is difficult to keep that promise. (NYT)
The UK labor market is at a standstill, with thousands of job vacancies and many who are looking for work but lack the skills to match the vacancies. (NYT)
the best of the rest
Global airlines are now taking on $340 billion in debt, an increase of about 23 percent from 2020. (bloomberg)
“Heard that? It’s your voice being taken for profit.” (Times Opinion)
Facebook is buying $100 million worth of unpaid invoices from thousands of small businesses owned by women and minorities. (CNBC)
Mattel is rebooting He-Man with a new cast of more diverse sidekicks. (NYT)
“Why Our Monsters Talk to Michael Wolfe.” (NYT)
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