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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Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple have ‘monopoly power,’ Dems say

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

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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 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
Read More
Read More