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    Google tentatively settles Play Store monopoly case with 30 states, 21M users / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 6 September - 16:39

Google tentatively settles Play Store monopoly case with 30 states, 21M users

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto )

Google has reached a tentative settlement with more than 30 US states and 21 million customers who sued the tech giant for allegedly violating antitrust laws by overcharging for apps in the Google Play Store, Reuters reported .

The settlement comes approximately one week after a court revoked the lawsuit's class-action status . Details, including the amount of the settlement, were not disclosed, Reuters reported, but plaintiffs agreed in a court filing yesterday not to oppose the court's decision on the class-action certification. At one point, plaintiffs estimated that Google might owe them $4.7 billion in damages ; however, it was previously reported that losing the class-action status would significantly reduce damages for states and customers suing.

Nothing will be finalized until the settlement is approved by the State Attorneys General and Google owner Alphabet Inc’s board of directors. After that, a long-form settlement agreement must be reached before final approval by the court.

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    Amazon gets “last rites” from FTC as antitrust complaint looks imminent / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 8 August - 15:36 · 1 minute

Amazon gets “last rites” from FTC as antitrust complaint looks imminent

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto )

After a yearslong Amazon probe that collected millions of documents and conducted dozens of interviews, the Federal Trade Commission next week will meet with Amazon representatives before likely filing one of the agency's biggest antitrust lawsuits yet, Politico reported .

Known as a "last-rites meeting," these discussions could serve as Amazon's last chance to dodge an FTC lawsuit that Bloomberg has described as "the Big One." No one is sure what aspects of Amazon's business the lawsuit could target, but if the FTC succeeds in court, it could result in a forced breakup or restructuring of Amazon's $1.3 trillion e-commerce operation, The Wall Street Journal reported .

There has been much speculation this year over what the FTC's complaint will cover. The agency has been investigating a wide range of concerning aspects of Amazon's business since 2019, Bloomberg reported . Everything from how Amazon bundles its services to how Amazon treats sellers has drawn FTC scrutiny, as has Amazon's advertising and cloud computing businesses. But the "main allegation," Bloomberg reported in June, "is expected to be that Amazon leverages its power to reward online merchants that use its logistics services and punish those who don’t."

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    In win for Google, judge dismisses many claims in DOJ monopoly case / ArsTechnica · Monday, 7 August - 19:02

In win for Google, judge dismisses many claims in DOJ monopoly case

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto )

Over the weekend, a US district court judge decided to narrow the scope of the federal government's massive years-long monopoly case against Google.

In his opinion unsealed Friday, Judge Amit Mehta dismissed one of the more significant claims raised in the case brought by the Justice Department and the attorneys general from 38 states that alleges that Google rigged search results to boost its own products over those of competitors like Amazon, OpenTable, Expedia, or eBay. Mehta said that these claims were "raised only by the Colorado plaintiffs" and failed to show evidence of anticompetitive effects, relying only on the "opinion and speculation" of antitrust legal expert Jonathan Baker, who proposed a theory of anticompetitive harm.

"Simply put, there is no record evidence of anticompetitive harm in the relevant markets" resulting from Google allegedly limiting competitors' visibility in search results, Mehta said.

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    Klaus Teuber made Catan, and it changed the world’s expectations for board games / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 8 April, 2023 - 11:30 · 1 minute

Klaus Teuber in front of a Catan type logo

Enlarge / Klaus Teuber, in 2015 at a games festival in Essen, Germany. Teuber created The Settlers of Catan (later just Catan ), along with other award-winning board games. (credit: Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

I was in my early 30s when I first played The Settlers of Catan . I had been at a bar with a small group one freezing winter night in 2012 in Buffalo, New York. One of us, eager to share his recent obsession, declared it was time for the outing's next stage. We went to his barely unpacked new apartment nearby. He pulled the game from a plastic tote, opened it on a wobbly dinette table, and laid out the board, apologizing for the moisture-warped edges. I took a picture (on my HTC Thunderbolt) because, having had a few, I wanted to ensure I'd remember this game with the wooden pieces and weird amount of sheep.

It was an inauspicious start to the rest of my board gaming life. Growing up in the '80s and '90s, then starting my young adult life in the early 2000s, I'd regarded board games as something you do in situations where you can't do anything else: power outages, cabins in the woods, gatherings with people without known shared interests. They weren't really going to be fun , and you wouldn't necessarily play them, but someone would get to be the winner, and time would pass. Catan changed that—for me and for what are now legions of modern board game enthusiasts.

From a German basement to 32 million copies

You may have seen the news this week that Klaus Teuber, the German designer who created The Settlers of Catan ( now just Catan ), died on April 1 at age 70. Teuber developed Die Siedler von Catan in the early 1990s, playing with ideas of Icelandic settlements, tinkering in his basement while working full-time at a dental lab. He'd bring up new iterations for his wife and kids to test every weekend, he told The New Yorker . The breakthrough, he said, was using hexagonal tiles instead of squares.

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Google's monopoly rigged the ad market – Capital As Power
  • Google's monopoly rigged the ad market – Capital As Power

    Originally published at Cory Doctorow The quest to bring antitrust law to bear against tech companies is finally paying off, but it’s been a long, hard slog. At the vanguard have been two legal scholars: Columbia law’s Lina M Khan linamkhan and Yale’s Dina Srinivasan. The first watershed moment was Khan’s Jan 2017 Yale […]

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    Mathias Poujol-Rost ✅ · Saturday, 12 February, 2022 - 14:20

    Quand le #Monopoly était anticapitaliste - Regarder le documentaire complet | ARTE

Gymnastique - Quand le Monopoly était anticapitaliste - Regarder le documentaire complet | ARTE