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    EU set to launch formal probe into Nvidia’s $54 billion takeover of Arm / ArsTechnica · Friday, 27 August, 2021 - 14:47

EU set to launch formal probe into Nvidia’s $54 billion takeover of Arm

Enlarge (credit: Arm)

Brussels is set to launch a formal competition probe early next month into Nvidia’s planned $54 billion takeover of British chip designer Arm, after months of informal discussions between regulators and the US chip company.

The investigation is likely to begin after Nvidia officially notifies the European Commission of its plan to acquire Arm, with the US chipmaker planning to make its submission in the week starting September 6, according to two people with direct knowledge of the process. They added that the date might yet change, however.

Brussels’ investigation would come after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said its initial assessment of the deal suggested there were “serious competition concerns” and that a set of remedies suggested by Nvidia would not be sufficient to address them.

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    Epic takes its fight with Apple across the sea with new EU complaint / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 17 February, 2021 - 17:51

<em>Fortnite</em> on an iPhone... back when that was a thing.

Enlarge / Fortnite on an iPhone... back when that was a thing. (credit: Savusia Konstantin | Getty Images )

Epic Games, maker of Fortnite , is loading up a new map in its ongoing fight against Apple as it files an antitrust complaint against the mobile phone maker in the European Union.

Epic alleges in its complaint that Apple uses its sole control over iOS apps to block competitors and benefit itself at developers' expense in violation of European competition law, the company said today.

"What’s at stake here is the very future of mobile platforms," Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a written statement. "We will not stand idly by and allow Apple to use its platform dominance to control what should be a level digital playing field. It’s bad for consumers, who are paying inflated prices due to the complete lack of competition among stores and in-app payment processing. And it’s bad for developers, whose very livelihoods often hinge on Apple’s complete discretion as to who to allow on the iOS platform, and on which terms."

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    L&#8217;éditeur de Fortnite demande l&#8217;aide de la Commission européenne face à Apple / Numerama · Wednesday, 17 February, 2021 - 15:41

La bataille entre Epic Games et Apple s'étend. Désormais, une plainte est déposée devant la Commission européenne, sur fond d'accusations anticoncurrentielles. [Lire la suite]

Voitures, vélos, scooters... : la mobilité de demain se lit sur Vroom !

L'article L’éditeur de Fortnite demande l’aide de la Commission européenne face à Apple est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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    Nvidia wants to buy CPU designer Arm—Qualcomm is not happy about it / ArsTechnica · Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 22:26 · 1 minute

Some current Arm licensees view the proposed acquisition as highly toxic.

Enlarge / Some current Arm licensees view the proposed acquisition as highly toxic. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Nvidia)

In September 2020, Nvidia announced its intention to buy Arm, the license holder for the CPU technology that powers the vast majority of mobile and high-powered embedded systems around the world.

Nvidia's proposed deal would acquire Arm from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank for $40 billion—a number which is difficult to put into perspective. Forty billion dollars would represent one of the largest tech acquisitions of all time, but 40 Instagrams or so doesn't seem like that much to pay for control of the architecture supporting every well-known smartphone in the world, plus a staggering array of embedded controllers, network routers, automobiles, and other devices.

Today’s Arm doesn’t sell hardware

Arm's business model is fairly unusual in the hardware space, particularly from a consumer or small business perspective. Arm's customers—including hardware giants such as Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung—aren't buying CPUs the way you'd buy an Intel Xeon or AMD Ryzen. Instead, they're purchasing the license to design and/or manufacture CPUs based on Arm's intellectual property. This typically means selecting one or more reference core designs, putting several of them in one system on chip (SoC), and tying them all together with the necessary cache and other peripherals.

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    Klobuchar targets Big Tech with biggest antitrust overhaul in 45 years / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 21:58 · 1 minute

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Jan. 21, 2021.

Enlarge / Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Jan. 21, 2021. (credit: Stefani Reynolds - pool | Getty Images )

With a new session of Congress underway and a new administration in the White House, Big Tech is once again in lawmakers' crosshairs. Not only are major firms such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google under investigation for allegedly breaking existing antitrust law, but a newly proposed bill in the Senate would make it harder for these and other firms to become so troublingly large in the first place.

The bill ( PDF ), called the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act (CALERA for short, which is still awkward) would become the largest overhaul to US antitrust regulation in at least 45 years if it became law.

"While the United States once had some of the most effective antitrust laws in the world, our economy today faces a massive competition problem," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) when she introduced the bill on Thursday. "We can no longer sweep this issue under the rug and hope our existing laws are adequate," Klobuchar added, calling the bill "the first step to overhauling and modernizing our laws" to protect competition in the current era.

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    Google, Facebook reportedly agreed to work together to fight antitrust probes / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 December, 2020 - 21:02

A traffic signal in front of Google HQ indicates that pedestrians should not walk.

Enlarge / Signage in front of a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, California, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. (credit: David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images )

More than three dozen state attorneys general last week filed an antitrust suit against Google , accusing the tech behemoth of a slew of anticompetitive behaviors. Among those behaviors, a new report finds, is an explicit agreement from Google to work with Facebook not only to divide the online advertising marketplace, but also to fend off antitrust investigations.

Facebook and Google agreed in a contract to "cooperate and assist each other in responding to any Antitrust Action" and "promptly and fully inform the Other Party of any Governmental Communication Related to the Agreement," according to an unredacted draft copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Wall Street Journal .

The final version of the suit made public last week ( PDF ) alleged that Google and Facebook signed a secret agreement in 2018 that "fixes prices and allocates markets between Google and Facebook as competing bidders in the auctions for publishers' Web display and in-app advertising inventory."

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    New suits accuse Google of “antitrust evils,” collusion with Facebook / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 17 December, 2020 - 22:00 · 1 minute

A large Google logo is displayed amidst foliage.

Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup | Getty Images )

Two separate coalitions of states have filed massive antitrust lawsuits against Google in the past 24 hours, alleging the company abuses its extensive power to force would-be competitors out of the marketplace and harms consumers in the process.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spearheaded the first suit, which nine other states also signed onto. The second suit is led by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, and an additional 36 states and territories signed on.

Antitrust law isn't just about being an illegal monopoly or even about being the dominant firm in your market sector. Although being a literal monopoly, with no available competition of any kind, can put you on the fast track to investigation, the law has broader concerns. Primarily, antitrust investigations are about anticompetitive behavior —in short, how a company uses its power. If you're a big company because everyone likes your stuff best, well, you're a big company, congratulations. But if you got to be the dominant company by cheating somehow—strong-arming other firms in the supply chain; targeted anticompetitive acquisitions; colluding with other firms to manipulate market conditions, and so on—that's a problem.

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    Apple’s app store is an illegal monopoly, rival Cydia claims in suit / ArsTechnica · Friday, 11 December, 2020 - 20:15

Apple’s app store is an illegal monopoly, rival Cydia claims in suit

The company behind Cydia, an iPhone app store that launched before Apple's own App Store, has sued Apple arguing that Apple has monopolized the market for iOS app stores, violating antitrust law in the process.

When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, it didn't have any mechanism for natively running third-party software. Instead, Steve Jobs encouraged developers to create Web apps that would run in the iPhone's Safari browser.

But people soon figured out how to jailbreak the iPhone and began making iPhone apps without Apple's help. Seeing an opportunity, software developer Jay Freeman created a program called Cydia that made it easy for users to download and install native iPhone apps—an app store before the App Store.

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