Apple bucks tech slowdown, but Spotify says it is ‘choking competition’; EU investigating Google Play; Meta’s rout continues
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Apple’s restrictive app store rules might be the reason that audiobooks are no longer available for purchase on Spotify’s iOS app, a month after the music streaming company launched them in the US, The Verge reports. Meanwhile, European anti-trust regulators are investigating Google's Play Store, Reuters reports. And Meta has lost more than two-thirds of its value this year, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg chases the Metaverse, Bloomberg points out. Notes: Apple reported its fiscal fourth quarter results yesterday, beating analysts’ estimates and avoiding a slowdown that other big tech companies including Google and Meta Platforms are seeing as the global economy begins to stall. Overall sales were up 8 percent for the three months ended Sep. 30, from the prior year at $90.1 billion, a record, Apple said in a press release. Apple saw “very strong double-digit growth in India, Southeast Asia and Latin America,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. Investors are pleasantly surprised, but not everyone is cheering. Apple’s app store rules might be the reason that audiobooks are no longer available for purchase on Spotify’s iOS app, a month after the music streaming company launched them in the US, The Verge reports, after an update for Spotify’s iOS app released yesterday. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek accused Apple of “doing serious harm to the internet economy, choking competition and the imagination of app developers” at every turn, in a blog post on Oct. 25. Apple enforces its proprietary billing system on which it levies a 30 percent cut on in-app sales of digital goods, such as audiobooks, for example. Last year, South Korea became the first country to ban this via legislation that extended to other app store providers as well, including Google, which charges a similar fee. It is worth noting that Apple also sells individual audiobooks within its own Books app which doesn’t face the 30 percent cut, The Verge Points out. Meanwhile, European anti-trust regulators are investigating Google's Play Store, the company said in a regulatory filing, a move that could expose the internet search giant to another billion euro fine, Reuters reports. India’s Competition Commission is also investigating these practices by Apple and Google. On Oct. 25, the country’s competition authority fined Google Rs. 936.44 crore for its anti-competitive behaviour concerning the Play store in India, it said in a statement. For investors, Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms may have the worst problems. Meta’s shares are down about 25 percent, Bloomberg reported yesterday, after the company’s disappointing results came out on Oct. 26, and Zuckerberg called for patience from investors. The shares have plunged $677 billion this year, according to Bloomberg. SiMa Technologies, a fabless semiconductor startup focused on machine learning at the embedded edge, has extended its Series B1 round to $67 million with new participation from MSD Partners, the Silicon Valley company said in a press release. The company had previously raised $30 million, and the $37 million extension includes participation from existing investors as well. The money will help SiMa expand “more aggressively than we originally planned,” including in locations outside the US, founder and CEO Krishna Rangasayee said. Theme music courtesy Free Music & Sounds: https://soundcloud.com/freemusicandsounds
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