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      Activision says UK was “irrational” in blocking Microsoft purchase

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 30 May, 2023 - 16:47 · 1 minute

    A small selection of the characters that would be part of Microsoft if its proposed Activision/Blizzard merger is allowed to go through.

    Enlarge / A small selection of the characters that would be part of Microsoft if its proposed Activision/Blizzard merger is allowed to go through. (credit: Activision Blizzard King)

    Activision isn't pulling any punches in its fight against the UK's regulatory attempts to block its merger with Microsoft . In a "motion to intervene" recently filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (and recently summarized on the tribunal's website ), Activision excoriates the UK's Competition and Markets Authority for a "flawed conclusion" that was variously "unlawful, irrational, and/or disproportionate" and "arrived at in a procedurally unfair manner."

    The appeal takes particular issue with the CMA's focus on cloud gaming in a vacuum, without taking into account competition from "native gaming" via games running on local hardware. The ability to easily switch from one type of game experience to the other means that cloud gaming should not be a "separate product market," Activision argues.

    A source close to Activision's appeals process (who asked for anonymity to speak frankly about the appeal) put a finer point on this argument, saying that cloud gaming is a niche technology and that "most consumers continue to get games by download or physical disc because running the game on their local hardware gives them a much better experience."

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      Klobuchar targets Big Tech with biggest antitrust overhaul in 45 years

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / 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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      Fast-paced grid-fighter EndCycle VS adds Linux support - we have keys to give away

      Liam Dawe · news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 30 December, 2020 - 15:08 · 1 minute

    Along with a huge upgrade to the game that adds in a whole new Adventure Mode, the grid-battler EndCycle VS now offers up Linux support.

    "EndCycle VS the customization-heavy strategic grid-fighter is here! Fight intense, fast-paced situations by combining reflexes and crafting your own strategy!! Packing both Singleplayer and Multiplayer action, the game has something for everyone!"

    One for fans of Mega Man Battle Network, One Step From Eden and other grid-fighters it's another interesting choice for fast-paced strategic action. This latest update brings with it almost an entirely new game with the Adventure Mode, one that's different each time you play through with some random generation. See the update trailer:

    youtube video thumbnail
    Watch video on YouTube.com

    There's also now Steam Workshop support, new sprites and a ton more. It's a massive update to this Early Access game that makes it worth looking into if you're after some action.

    Feature Highlight:

    • Build your very own deck and create a unique playstyle with thousands of custom attacks!
    • Adventure through a huge roguelike world and experience stories from perspectives of different characters!
    • Tons of singleplayer and multiplayer challenges await you such as a story mode, wave-based onslaughts of enemies to test your skills, classic PVP battles and more!
    • With the in-game Toolbox, you can make any custom content without a single line of code!
    • Create GIFs with the provided GIF recorder, that lets you record events after they've happened!
    • With the Discord integration you can see who's currently in-game, looking for a fight, or even view current fight results on the go!

    Competition - With this we also have some keys to give away!

    If you're interested in a key, let us know in the comments and we shall message the multiple winners directly after our end of year break next week (January 4, 2021).

    Can't wait? Check it out on Steam .

    Article from GamingOnLinux.com - do not reproduce this article without permission. This RSS feed is intended for readers, not scrapers.
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      FTC, 47 states file suits to break up Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 9 December, 2020 - 19:46

    Extreme close-up photograph of smartphone.

    Enlarge / Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are the three largest parts of Facebook's extremely sprawling empire... for now. (credit: Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images )

    The Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of 47 states attorneys general today filed a pair of long-awaited antitrust suits against Facebook, alleging that the company abused its power in the marketplace to neutralize competitors through acquisitions and prevent anyone else from presenting a more privacy-friendly alternative to consumers.

    "By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has quashed or hindered what the company perceived as potential threats," New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led the states' effort, said. "In an effort to maintain its market dominance, Facebook has employed a strategy to impede competing services."

    When James initially announced the probe in September 2019, her office was joined by the attorneys general of eight other states; by October of last year, another 38 had signed on, bringing the total to 47 states and territories participating in the investigation.

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      FTC divided on how to sue Facebook for antitrust violations, reports find

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 30 November, 2020 - 20:32

    Giant monitors displaying the Facebook logo hang from the ceiling of an empty convention center.

    Enlarge / All Facebook, no matter which way you look. (credit: Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images )

    After well over a year spent investigating Facebook, state and federal regulators are more than ready to start launching a slate of cases against Facebook, new reports say—that is, as soon as the agencies can agree on how they actually want to do it.

    New suits against Facebook should come before the end of January, The Wall Street Journal writes. Both the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of attorneys general for 47 states and territories are expected to take some kind of action.

    The state and the federal probes are basically looking into two overall buckets of potentially anticompetitive behavior. The first has to do with Facebook's effects on other businesses that could or do compete with it. That's the investigation that delves into mergers and acquisitions, both large and small , as well as Facebook's behavior toward companies that refuse a buyout .

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      The tech antitrust problem no one is talking about

      WIRED · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 31 October, 2020 - 11:08

    After years of building political pressure for antitrust scrutiny of major tech companies, this month Congress and the US government delivered. The House Antitrust Subcommittee released a report accusing Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook of monopolistic behavior. The Department of Justice filed a complaint against Google alleging the company prevents consumers from sampling other search engines.

    The new fervor for tech antitrust has so far overlooked an equally obvious target: US broadband providers. “If you want to talk about a history of using gatekeeper power to harm competitors, there are few better examples,” says Gigi Sohn, a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy.

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      Microsoft thumbs its nose at Apple with new “app fairness” policy

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 9 October, 2020 - 19:22 · 1 minute

    Microsoft sign at the entrance of their Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, California.

    Enlarge / Microsoft sign at the entrance of their Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, California. (credit: Nicolas McComber | Getty Images )

    Microsoft this week adopted a whole slew of "fairness principles" for its Windows app store. The list of principles does look like a decent set of guidelines for both consumers and developers—but it also looks a whole lot like Microsoft is taking the metaphorical ball, throwing it at Apple's face, and daring their iCompetitor to make the next move.

    The principles, which Microsoft listed in a corporate blog post , essentially promise that Windows will keep on doing what it already does with regard to app distribution, interoperability, payment systems, and everything else.

    The first item, for example, promises that developers may choose whether to distribute Windows programs through the Microsoft Store or through their own competing app storefronts. This has always been the case, and it's why Steam, the Epic Games store, and every other Windows software distribution method exist. Windows also promises not to block an app from Windows "based on a developer's choice of which payment system to use" for processing in-app purchases which, again, is why and how both Web-based and app-based digital software storefronts for Windows exist.

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      Here’s what we learned from that massive House antitrust report

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 7 October, 2020 - 20:16 · 1 minute

    The United States Capitol Building, the seat of Congress, on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

    Enlarge / The United States Capitol Building, the seat of Congress, on the National Mall in Washington, DC. (credit: Omar Chatriwala | Getty Images )

    Last June, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law began an in-depth investigation into four major firms—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The subcommittee wanted to answer one key question: did Big Tech get big playing by the rules, or do it cheat to stay at the top? After 16 months of hearings, research, and analysis, the panel's findings are out... and the results look really bad for every company involved.

    The tech sector does indeed suffer from abuses of "monopoly power," the subcommittee concluded in the mammoth 450-page report ( PDF ) published late yesterday afternoon.

    "As they exist today, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy. In recent years, each company has expanded and exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways," Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and antitrust subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said in a joint statement. "Our investigation leaves no doubt that there is a clear and compelling need for Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies to take action that restores competition, improves innovation, and safeguards our democracy."

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      Apple apologizes to WordPress, no longer requires free app to add purchases

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 24 August, 2020 - 16:37 · 1 minute

    Screenshot of App Store icon.

    Enlarge (credit: Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images )

    WordPress for iOS is a free app that connects to the company's free open source content management system, which millions of sites around the Web use for some part of their structure. WordPress the company also sells domain names and an array of personal, business, and enterprise web hosting packages. Apple, unfortunately, seems to have mixed the two up over the weekend and briefly forced WordPress to add in-app purchases that it otherwise wouldn't have, so it could take a cut.

    "Heads up on why @WordPressiOS updates have been absent... we were locked by App Store," WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg explained in a series of Tweets on Friday. "To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again, we had to commit to support in-app purchases for .com plans. I know why this is problematic, open to suggestions."

    WordPress opted for the path of least resistance, as The Verge reported, and agreed to add path inside their iOS app for users to purchase premium offerings including domain names. Because of the agreements developers make with Apple to have their apps approved for the App Store, 30 percent of any purchases made through the WordPress app after that functionality was added would have gone to Apple.

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