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  • Apple's event on April 20: What to expect
    Editor's pick
    Yahoo Finance

    Apple's event on April 20: What to expect

    Apple is set to kick off its big spring event at 1 p.m. ET on April 20.

  • Apple to Reinstate Parler; Google Offers Potential Return
    Bloomberg

    Apple to Reinstate Parler; Google Offers Potential Return

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. will let the social-media app Parler back on the App Store after an almost four-month absence, the iPhone maker told U.S. lawmakers ahead of a congressional antitrust hearing later this week.The Cupertino, California-based technology giant made the disclosure in a letter to Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, and Representative Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado. The social media app, a favorite of conservatives who have left Twitter Inc., was removed from the App Store in January after it was one of the online networks used to incite violence at the Capitol in Washington. At the time, Apple said it pulled the app for violating content guidelines and said it would consider reinstating the service if Parler made changes to better moderate content.On Monday, Alphabet Inc.’s Google also indicated it would allow Parler back on the Google Play store if the app meets guidelines. “Parler is welcome back in the Play store once it submits an app that complies with our policies,” a Google spokesperson said. The company added that the app had remained available on Android via other channels despite the January removal from Google Play.Apple told the government officials in its letter that it found posts on Parler that “encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence.” Since the initial rejection, as well as rejections of other updates, Apple has “engaged in substantial conversations with Parler in an effort to bring the Parler app into compliance with the guidelines and reinstate it in the App Store,” the company said in the letter.Read more: Apple Blocks Parler Return to App Store on Offensive ContentApple said Parler has proposed content moderation changes and was informed on April 14 that an update of the app would be approved. Parler said in a statement that it would launch the updated app next week on the App Store.The reinstatement to the App Store “comes after several months of productive dialogue with Apple and new information that Parler provided to the public and Congress to demonstrate that the company has always prohibited incitement and Parler had been unfairly scapegoated for the events of January 6th,” the social network said in a statement. Parler said it “implemented several new safeguards in order to detect posts that would not fall within the protections of the First Amendment.” The social network, however, said it won’t “make changes to its broad policies to create a free and open platform without viewpoint censorship and committed to the First Amendment rights of its users.” That will mean that the iPhone version of the Parler app will exclude posts that will otherwise remain available on Parler’s web and Android versions.In its letter, Apple said it requires apps to filter “objectionable material,” provide a way for users to report offensive content, offer the ability to block “abusive users” and list contact information so users can reach the developer. Google requires similar moderation tools for apps hosted on Google Play.In Apple’s letter on Monday to the lawmakers, written by Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Americas Timothy Powderly, the company said it originally decided to remove Parler independently and that it did not coordinate with Google or Amazon.com Inc, which barred Parler from running on its cloud service.Apple’s decision to reinstate Parler comes ahead of a Wednesday hearing scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, which is run by Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota. Lee is the panel’s top Republican. Kyle Andeer, Apple’s chief compliance officer, will speak at the hearing, the company said earlier this month.“Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the subcommittee, consumers, and app developers,” the senators wrote to Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook ahead of the hearing. “A full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.”(Updates with comments from Parler on app release timing and details beginning in the fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Senate to Call Spotify, Match at Apple, Google Antitrust Hearing
    Bloomberg

    Senate to Call Spotify, Match at Apple, Google Antitrust Hearing

    (Bloomberg) -- Google will send a top policy executive to testify at Wednesday’s Senate app store antitrust hearing, while legal executives from Spotify Technology SA, Tile and Match Group Inc. will serve as witnesses, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Google Senior Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy Wilson White will be the search giant’s representative, joining Apple Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer in the spotlight. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, which is holding the hearing, also plans to call Horacio Gutierrez, Kirsten Daru, and Jared Sine, top legal executives from Spotify, Tile and Match Group, respectively.Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America, will also be called. Spotify, Tile and Match have all been embroiled in antitrust fights with Apple recently, with Spotify and Match filing complaints about Apple’s App Store rules and fees. Tile believes Apple’s Find My app will give the company’s rumored AirTags accessory for finding physical objects a leg up over third-party rivals.Read more: Apple Makes Top Executive Available at Senate App Store HearingThe Senate subcommittee is investigating Apple and Google over competition issues and concerns from app developers. Apple’s Andeer previously testified on several matters for Apple before the House of Representatives and other U.S. lawmakers.White, a top deputy of Google legal chief Kent Walker, joined the company in 2011 after working as a software developer and patent lawyer. Since 2013, he has worked as a policy director on Google’s ads and apps divisions, units that were critical to Google’s business success with mobile phones. They’re also units that have been at the center of some of Google’s political troubles.On the app store issue, Google often argues that it differs from Apple since Android device owners are free to download alternative app stores, like those from Samsung and wireless carriers. But Google does require device manufacturers to install its app store and other mobile services, giving its properties a competitive advantage. That arrangement was the centerpiece of a European Union antitrust case against Google. The company disputed the EU charges.The subcommittee is run by Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and Senator Mike Lee is the panel’s top Republican. The two lawmakers said Apple initially declined to participate, and they sent a letter to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to demand that the company send a witness.“Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the subcommittee, consumers, and app developers,” the letter said. “A full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.”The Justice Department’s antitrust division has been investigating Apple’s App Store practices to determine whether the company is harming competition, Bloomberg has reported. Apple is embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games Inc., which goes to trial in early May. Earlier on Monday, Apple said it would allow the Parler social network app to return to the App Store, potentially easing some of the expected questioning on Wednesday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.