Apple To Permit Third-Party App Stores

Most potentially impactful of all, Apple is reportedly planning to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone.   Sellers could presumably bypass Apple’s 30% commission on payments, a sore point for many and huge profit source for Apple.  Apple has faced some pressure about this in the U.S., where iPhone market share is much higher than elsewhere.  But new EU regulations are what’s forcing the change.

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European Commission Warns Meta About Anti-Trust Violations

December 20, 2022

EU regulators have just warned Meta about using ad-related data from competitors to benefit their Facebook Marketplace classified advertising service.  Like Amazon, Meta has been leveraging its control over what users see to favor its own products.  That’s probably illegal in the U.S. too, but so far the tech industry has been largely successful in restraining U.S. regulators and Congress from taking action.  (For a rare exception, see today’s Privacy Newsletter item about the Federal Trade Commission’s $520 million settlement with Epic Games.)

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Major Google and Meta suits hit snags

December 20, 2022

Google received a mixed ruling on a suit alleging the company collected data about people who browsed in “incognito mode.” The federal judge ruled users cannot gain monetary damages on a class-wide basis but did allow the users to proceed with the case to request restricting data collection by Google. In Meta’s case, a federal judge rejected a $37.5 million settlement negotiated by the company and class action lawyers representing an estimated 70 million users. The lawsuit found Meta collected users' IP addresses, revealing general information about location - in violation of a prior privacy policy.

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Salesforce Buys for Automated Customer Service

September 22, 2023

Salesforce is buying, which builds low-code, AI-powered e-commerce customer service agents.  You might have thought Salesforce could already do that, but presumably Airkit does it better.  It doesn’t hurt that the company founders sold a previous business to Salesforce, the company was partly funded by Salesforce Ventures, and the product is already listed on AppExchange.  Price was not announced.

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