Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed

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Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon abused monopoly power, House report says

cnet-promo-apple-facebook-google-amazon-17

The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee released its report after investigating Big Tech.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives accused Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple of “abuses of monopoly power” in a 449-page report released Tuesday. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee drew its conclusions after a 16-month investigation that culminated in an hours-long hearing with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai in July that featured tense exchanges portending a more critical view of Big Tech.

The report calls for restructuring and several other changes to rein in the companies. One recommendation tries to make it tougher for tech giants to buy up smaller companies that consolidates the industry. A “nondiscrimination requirements” suggestion aims to stop platforms from prioritizing their own products over those of rivals. The subcommittee also calls for the strengthening of antitrust laws and enforcement. 

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House lawmakers say Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple abused monopoly power

cnet-promo-apple-facebook-google-amazon-17

The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee released its report after investigating Big Tech.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives accused Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple of “abuses of monopoly power” in a 449-page report released Tuesday. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee drew its conclusions after a 16-month investigation that culminated in an hours-long hearing with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai in July.

The report calls for restructuring and several other changes to rein in the companies. One recommendation tries to make it tougher for tech giants to buy up smaller companies that consolidates the industry. A “nondiscrimination requirements” suggestion aims to stop platforms from prioritizing their own products over those of rivals. The subcommittee also calls for the strengthening of antitrust laws and enforcement. 

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Facebook is a social network monopoly that buys, copies or kills competitors, antitrust committee finds

  • The House Antitrust Subcommittee determined Facebook wields monopoly powers in social network and has maintained its position by acquiring, copying or killing its competitors, according to a report released by the subcommittee on Tuesday. 
  • The report describes an exchange in which Mark Zuckerberg suggested to Instagram Co-founder Kevin Systrom that “refusing to enter into a partnership with Facebook, including an acquisition, would have consequences for Instagram.”
  • The report recommends that Congress review a series of potential remedies. This includes “structural separation,” which could “require divestiture and separate ownership of each business.”



Mark Zuckerberg in a blue shirt: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at an event at Facebook's Headquarters office in Menlo Park, California on January 15, 2012.


© Provided by CNBC
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at an event at Facebook’s Headquarters office in Menlo Park, California on January 15, 2012.

The House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust determined Facebook wields monopoly powers in social network and has maintained its position by acquiring, copying or killing its competitors, according to a report the group released on Tuesday. 

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House antitrust probe says Amazon has ‘monopoly power’ over sellers, company slams ‘fringe’ findings

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos answers questions via video during an antitrust hearing in July.

A long-awaited report from a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee finds that Amazon “has monopoly power over most third-party sellers and many of its suppliers,” and proposes sweeping reforms for U.S. tech giants including “structural separations to prohibit platforms from operating in lines of business that depend on or interoperate with the platform.”

Amazon called the report fundamentally flawed, saying its “fringe notions on antitrust” presented an inaccurate view of the market and competitive landscape.

The 450-page report from the subcommittee’s Democratic leaders concludes a 16-month investigation into Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple as the operators of major online markets. It finds that the market power of the four tech giants “has diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy of the free and diverse press, and undermined Americans’ privacy.”

If

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House investigation faults Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for engaging in anti-competitive monopoly tactics

Congressional investigators faulted Facebook for gobbling up potential competitors with impunity, and they concluded Google improperly scraped rivals’ websites and forced its technology on others to reach its pole position in search and advertising. The lawmakers’ report labeled both of those firms as monopolies while faulting the federal government for failing to crack down on them sooner.

Amazon and Apple, meanwhile, exerted their own form of “monopoly power” to protect and grow their corporate footprints. As operators of two major online marketplaces — a world-leading shopping site for Amazon, and a powerful App Store for Apple — the two tech giants for years set rules that essentially put smaller, competing sellers and software developers at a disadvantage, the report found.

The House investigation stopped short of calling on the Trump administration to break up any of the companies. Instead, it proposed the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. antitrust law in

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House Democrats say Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple enjoy ‘monopoly power’

A Democratic congressional staff report recommends changes to antitrust laws and enforcement that could result in major changes for Big Tech companies like spinning off or separating parts of their businesses or making it harder to buy smaller companies.

The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers.

In a nearly 450-page report, the Democratic majority staff laid out their takeaways from hearings, interviews and the 1.3 million documents they scoured throughout the investigation. They conclude that the four Big Tech companies enjoy monopoly power and suggest Congress take up changes to antitrust laws that could result in parts of their businesses being separated.

You can read the full report here.

The recommendations from Democratic staff include:

  • Imposing structural separations and prohibiting dominant platforms from entering
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For Years, Intel Sat On Its CPU Monopoly And Now The Tide Turns Against Them (NASDAQ:INTC)

The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.

Warren Buffett

Tech reviewers have seen it for a while now that Intel (INTC) has been lacking in the consumer-focused market, and with AMD’s (NASDAQ:AMD) Epyc 7742, Intel started to lack in the server CPU market as well.

Source: YouTube Screenshot, Channel LinusTechTips

Higher core count provides more computing power, and if the workload is distributed evenly across cores, power consumption can also be significantly reduced.

This, in part, shows that Intel lacks technologically, but also with AMD’s much lower “price per processing,” customers are dragged away from Intel and towards AMD.

Intel lost its drive

Intel is not looking forward anymore; they are just looking left and right at what their competitors are doing. In Intel’s Blueprint series, they mentioned

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Thanks to Google, app store monopoly concerns have now reached India

Last week, as Epic Games, Facebook, and Microsoft continued to express concerns about Apple’s “monopolistic” hold over what a billion people can download on their iPhones, a similar story unfolded in India, the world’s second largest internet market, between a giant developer and the operator of the only other large mobile app store.

Google pulled Paytm, the app from India’s most valuable startup, off of the Play Store on Friday. The app returned to the store eight hours later, but the controversy and acrimony Google has stirred up in the country will linger for years.

TechCrunch reported on Friday that Google pulled Paytm app from its app store after a repeat pattern of violations of Google Play Store guidelines by the Indian firm.

Paytm, which is locked in a battle against Google to win India’s payments market, has been frustrated at Google’s policies — which it argues gives Google an

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