By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – IPhone maker Apple, the target of EU antitrust investigations into key segments of its business, on Tuesday rejected accusations of market dominance, saying it competes with Google, Samsung and other rivals.
Earlier this month, the European Commission opened investigations into Apple’s App Store and mobile payment system Apple Pay, concerned about its role as a gatekeeper to its lucrative platform.
“We compete with a wide variety of companies, Google, Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, LG, Lenovo and many more,” Daniel Matray, head of Apple’s App Store and Apple Media Services, told a Forum Europe online event.
“In fact, Apple does not have a dominant position in any market, and we face strong competition in every category, in tablets, wearables, desktop and notebook computers, maps, music, payments, messaging, and more,” he said.
Matray defended Apple’s App Store, saying the same rules apply to all developers, large and small, with 85% of apps not required to pay a 30% fee to the company which is only valid for those which use its in-app payment service.
The EU is investigating whether this requirement and rules preventing developers from informing users of cheaper products elsewhere are anti-competitive.
It is also probing Apple’s terms and conditions on how its mobile payment service Apple Pay should be used in merchants’ apps and websites, and also the company’s refusal to allow rivals access to the payment system.
The EU investigations were prompted by a complaint by Swedish music streaming service Spotify and an e-book rival.
Matray said the App Store has boosted competition, rather than harmed rivals.
“In the nearly 12 years since the App Store debuted, the best measure of its success is the dynamism it has unleashed and the state of the app economy today,” he said.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
Far Cry 6 leak confirms Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will star – Eurogamer.net
Tropical map is series’ largest to date.
Far Cry 6 has been revealed a little earlier than planned via a PlayStation Store leak, which has listed it for launch on 18th February 2021.
Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian star Giancarlo Esposito will play a major role as the dictator of Yara, a fictional country which looks heavily-inspired by Cuba.
You play as Dani Rojas, a local guerrilla fighter who takes on the dictator’s rule.
The game’s store description lists it as the “largest Far Cry playground to date” with the series’ typical jungles and beaches as well as a city – Esperanza, the country’s capital.
“Employ makeshift weapons, vehicles, and Amigos, the new Fangs for Hire to burn the tyrannical regime to the ground,” the description concludes.
PlayStation 4 copies of the game will upgrade for free if you play on PlayStation 5 – which will almost certainly be the same for Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
We’re sure to hear more about Far Cry 6 at Ubisoft’s not-E3 event this Sunday at 8pm UK time.
Tom Hanks WWII Movie 'Greyhound' Debuts on Apple TV+ – MacRumors
Apple TV+ today debuted “Greyhound,” the highly anticipated Second World War movie starring Tom Hanks as a naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound in the Battle of the Atlantic.
“Greyhound” features Hanks as George Krause, who must fight his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command.
The screenplay for the movie was written by Hanks and the film was meant to be released in theaters, but could not premiere because most theaters across the United States remain closed. Apple ultimately paid $70 million for the film to premiere on Apple TV+.
Alongside “Greyhound,” the first four episodes of “Little Voice” also debuted on Apple’s streaming service today. The show is a coming of age drama created by J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, and Jessie Nelson, and uses original music by Bareilles. Apple also debuted short-form sports docuseries “Greatness Code” on Friday.
Apple TV+ can be accessed through the TV app on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as online at tv.apple.com. A list of all of the TV shows and movies on the service can be found in our guide.
Sony invests $250m in Fortnite maker Epic – Eurogamer.net
Sony has invested $250m in Epic.
The “strategic” investment gives Sony a minority interest in the Fortnite maker.
“The investment cements an already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces the shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services,” Sony said.
“The investment allows Sony and Epic to aim to broaden their collaboration across Sony’s leading portfolio of entertainment assets and technology, and Epic’s social entertainment platform and digital ecosystem to create unique experiences for consumers and creators.”
According to Sony boss Kenichiro Yoshida, the investment allows the Japanese company to “explore opportunities for further collaboration with Epic to delight and bring value to consumers and the industry at large, not only in games, but also across the rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape”.
To put the investment in context, senior analyst at Niko Partners, Daniel Ahmad said Sony’s $250m nabs it a 1.4 per cent minority stake in Epic, which values the company at $17.86bn. Chinese tech giant Tencent has a 40 per cent stake after a $330m investment made in June 2012. Epic boss Tim Sweeney remains the majority stakeholder.
Quick thread on Sony and Epic deal:
Sony made a strategic investment of 0 million in Epic Games to acquire a 1.4% minority stake.
The investment cements an already close relationship. Is to explore opportunities for further collaboration, primarily around entertainment. pic.twitter.com/Moin0hUWJu
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 9, 2020
Epic and Sony already established a close relationship with the unveiling of Unreal Engine 5 running on a PlayStation 5. Sony also gets exclusive Fortnite skins, available only to PlayStation Plus subscribers.
Writing on Twitter, Epic boss Sweeney said “serious investment discussions” followed from the PS5 Unreal Engine 5 demo. “I guess they liked it!” he added.
Yes, here?s what I said back in May below. Serious investment discussions followed from the Unreal Engine 5 demo we showed on PlayStation 5. I guess they liked it!https://t.co/c9x4q1v87P https://t.co/XoOTR5hThU
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 9, 2020
According to VentureBeat, Epic has confirmed it will still be able to publish to other non-Sony platforms, so don’t expect Fortnite to go PS5 exclusive any time soon.
As for Sony, it’s spent big on video games in recent years with the PS5 on the horizon. In August 2019 it splashed out $229m for Spider-Man PS4 developer Insomniac Games, and is reportedly sniffing around Digital Extremes (Warframe) and Splash Damage (Brink, Gears Tactics) owner Leyou Technologies.
But this Epic deal is clearly about more than just video games. Fortnite is now an enormous platform in which music artists perform and current affairs debates are held alongside players shooting each other to bits. Fortnite recently held a virtual Travis Scott concert and an incredible 27 million people tuned in. Given Sony’s stakes in the music and film industries, you can see why it would want a piece of the pie.
Far Cry 6 leak confirms Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will star – Eurogamer.net
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