Coalition for App Fairness Takes On Apple
As Fortnite creator Epic Games continues its fight with Apple over its App Store policies, the company has joined forces with a handful of other companies who also have a history of fighting the same fight against Apple.
Epic, along with twelve other app publishers, formed the Coalition for App Fairness to "create a level playing field for app businesses and give people freedom of choice on their devices."
Among those who have joined are Spotify, who filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union for its App Store policies. Tile, which has also joined the coalition, testified to Congress earlier this year regarding Apple, with its vice president and general counsel saying "Apple is acting as a gatekeeper to applications and technologies in a way that favors its own interests."
"One company has near total control over the mobile ecosystem and what apps consumers get to use," the coalition's site reads. "After nearly a decade with no oversight, regulation, or fair competition, it’s time for Apple to be held accountable."
The coalition is pushing for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem. The coalition details how Apple's 30% tax on most app purchases in its App Store amounts to more than $15 billion in annual revenue from its app tax.
The coalition lists 10 "App Store Principles" that it believes should be adhered to throughout the industry. Among them are no developer should be required to use an app store exclusively, no developer should be blocked from the platform and a developer's data should not be used to compete with the developer.
"Developer freedoms are under attack. We are joining @AppFairness to defend and reclaim the fundamental rights of all creators," Epic tweeted.
As Epic and other app developers rally together to take on Apple, it will be interesting to watch how Apple responds as these companies collectively remain an important source of revenue. Leftover Crumbs
Jobless claims rise slightly. Initial jobless claims totaled 870,000 last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, as economists polled by Dow Jones were anticipating a drop from the 860,000 reported the previous week. Continuing claims fell by 167,000 to 12.58 million for the week ending September 12. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called for more support from Congress to pass a new fiscal stimulus package, saying "The recovery will go faster if there's support coming both from Congress and from the Fed."
Analyst has idea for cannabis company. MKM Partners analyst Bill Kirk published a research note on cannabis company Aurora titled "Please stop growing so much weed." Aurora grew nearly 98,000 pounds of cannabis while selling less than 37,000 pounds, leading to a $100 million inventory write down in its most recent quarter. "Aurora grows more stuff that people don't want than they grow stuff people want," Kirk wrote. "While Aurora is great at growing weed cheaply, consumers have not shown an appetite for the product." Shares of Aurora are down nearly 80% this year.
Spotify CEO will make some bets. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said he will invest 1 billion euros, or about $1.2 billion, to make "moonshot" bets in European startups. Ek will focus on deep technology with investments in sectors such as health, education, machine learning and biotechnology. "I want to do my part; we all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital," Ek said. "I get really frustrated when I see European entrepreneurs giving up on their amazing visions selling early on to non-European companies, or when some of the most promising tech talent in Europe leaves because they don't feel valued here."
Airport turns to dogs to catch coronavirus. Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa airport began a pilot project this week in which dogs will be used to detect Covid-19 in travelers. Travelers who volunteer will have their neck swiped with a gauze, which will be placed in a can and moved to another room for a dog to sniff and deliver results immediately. The trial follows a similar test a few months ago in the United Arab Emirates where dogs were used at Dubai International Airport to detect the coronavirus.
We have another EV/SPAC tie-up. ChargePoint, which is one of the world's oldest and largest electric vehicle charging networks, will go public via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp. The deal values ChargePoint at $2.4 billion and will see the company begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange once the deal closes, which is expected near the end of the year. ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano will continue to lead the company following the deal.