Epic Wins A “Victory Royale” Against Google

It’s been three years since Fornite-maker Epic Games sued Apple and Google for allegedly running illegal app store monopolies. And despite losing a similar battle against Apple, the game-maker has secured a win against Google. ๐Ÿ†

The jury in Epic v. Google delivered its unanimous decision after just a few hours of deliberation. They found a few key things:

  • Google has monopoly power in the Android app distribution markets and in-app billing service markets, and Google did anticompetitive things in those markets.
  • Google has an illegal tie between its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing payment services.
  • Google’s distribution agreement, Project Hug (which deals with game developers), and deals with OEMs are all anticompetitive.

Most importantly, it found that Epic was injured by the behaviors above.ย 

Epic Games said in a company blog, “Today’s verdict is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. It proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation.”

Google plans to challenge the verdict, saying that the trial made it clear that it competes fiercely with Apple’s App Store and app stores on Android devices and gaming consoles. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

However, it’s important to note that this victory is not quite sealed yet. Judge James Donato will decide the appropriate remedies, given that Epic never sued for monetary damages. Instead, it wants the court to tell Google that every app developer has total freedom to introduce its own app stores and billing systems on Android. ๐Ÿง‘โ€โš–๏ธ

The judge has already said he will not decide what percentage fee Google should charge for its products, among other things. As a result, we’ll have to wait and see what happens when both parties meet the judge in January to hash out a remedy.

Google shares were down marginally on the news. But the broader implications of this trial are likely to be a major deal for Google, Apple, and other tech giants, as this battle represents just one part of a much larger conflict in the tech space. โš”๏ธ

Apple Drains EV Resources For AI

After ten years of research and development, Tim Apple is finally pulling the plug on Apple’s electric vehicle (EV) project. Because as we all know, EVs have lost their luster and given way to the business world’s new savior…artificial intelligence (AI). ๐Ÿ˜‡

Bloomberg broke the news today, saying the tech giant disclosed the strategy shift internally and surprised the nearly 2,000 employees working on the project. Executives told staffers the project would begin winding down and that many of the car team’s employees would be shifted to its artificial intelligence division, focused on generative AI.ย 

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March Madness Continues At NYCB

When regular people talk about March Madness, they’re referring to college basketball. But when traders and investors talk about March Madness, they’re referring to a regional bank stock imploding.

We’re about a year out from three regional banks failing and/or being rescued, and now the sharks are circling New York Community Bancorp. The long story short, until today, is that the regional lender has too much commercial real estate exposure, weak internal controls over financial reporting, and a new CEO trying to right the ship. ๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ

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PayPal Pops Ahead Of Key Event

It’s been a rough few years for payment giant PayPal, with shares falling 85% peak-to-trough. Recently, the stock has begun to rebound with other beaten-down tech names but remains about 80% below all-time highs. In other words, it would need to nearly 5x its share price to reach those levels again. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

While that may seem a ways off, investors have recently pushed shares to their best three-day run since the end of 2022. That’s because the company promised to roll out new “customer-backed innovation” at an event next Thursday, with its new CEO Alex Chriss saying, “It is very clear what we need to do.”

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Pfizer’s Flop Continues

It’s been a rough ride for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer since the end of the pandemic, and that rollercoaster ride continues today. ๐ŸŽข

The company last announced earnings in October but needed to update Wall Street on its 2024 forecast. It cited weak demand for its Covid products as the reason for a weaker-than-anticipated revenue and earnings forecast.

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