German economy rebounding Apple’s smaller rivals unite to fight iPhone ‘app store’ rules
Govt faces risk from virus resurgence Google’s policies also on radar
WASHINGTON, Sept 24, (AP): Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for “fair treatment” in the way the tech giants run their app stores.
The Coalition for App Fairness, a Washington-based nonprofit, launched Thursday and will advocate for legal and regulatory changes, such as measures that could block Apple and Google from favoring their own apps in the iPhone and Android operating systems they control. The activism from smaller rivals adds to scrutiny the tech giants are facing from US and European regulators and lawmakers.
The group aims to be the “voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said a statement from Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs and chief legal officer for music-streaming pioneer Spotify.
Apple is the group’s main target, though Google’s app store policies are also on its radar. Both companies this summer dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.
Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases, which has long been a sore spot with developers. Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, responded by suing the companies over what it sees as anti-competitive behavior. Epic is backing the new coalition along with Spotify, online dating app maker Match Group, and other members including Tile, Basecamp, ProtonMail and European media industry associations.
In addition to the app stores, Big Tech is facing fresh scrutiny from antitrust regulators. As the Trump administration moves toward antitrust action against search giant Google, it’s campaigning to enlist support from sympathetic state attorneys general across the country.
The anticipated lawsuit against Google by the Justice Department could be the government’s biggest legal offensive to protect competition since the groundbreaking case against Microsoft almost 20 years ago.
FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept 24, (AP): A widely watched indicator of German business confidence has risen for a fifth month in a row as Europe’s largest economy rebounds from the coronavirus shutdowns – but the index remains below its long term average and uncertainty is high with virus cases rising.
The Ifo institute’s index released Thursday rose to 93.4 points in September from 92.5 points in August.
The index is based on a survey of thousands of businesses about their view of current conditions and expectations for the future.
In this case the current assessment rose while the expectations part levelled off.
After shrinking 9.7% in the second quarter, the worst quarterly figure on record, the economy is rebounding from the severe shutdowns and restrictions on activity and movement of March, April and May.
Carsten Brzeski, chief eurozone economist at ING bank, said growth could rebound sharply with growth between 5% and 10% in the third quarter.
But the recovery still faces hurdles and has a long way to go to regain its pre-pandemic footing.
“Given the recent softening of leading indicators, however, there is a risk of a double-dip in the fourth quarter,” Brzeski wrote in a research note, “unless social distancing rules are eased further; a very unlikely scenario given the latest increase in new COVID-19 cases.”