Android store – Android Apps Critic http://androidappscritic.com/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 20:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://androidappscritic.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/cropped-icon-32x32.png Android store – Android Apps Critic http://androidappscritic.com/ 32 32 The Revenge of Microsoft’s Windows Phone: Building a Competing Mobile App and Game Store https://androidappscritic.com/the-revenge-of-microsofts-windows-phone-building-a-competing-mobile-app-and-game-store/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 17:00:00 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/the-revenge-of-microsofts-windows-phone-building-a-competing-mobile-app-and-game-store/ With Windows Phone sadly confined to the history books, Microsoft’s mobility efforts continue in Surface tablets, mobile apps and their own range of Android phones in the form of the Surface Duo 2. However, without a third option in the he mobile space, iOS and Google may have presided over an infamous duopoly that actively […]]]>

With Windows Phone sadly confined to the history books, Microsoft’s mobility efforts continue in Surface tablets, mobile apps and their own range of Android phones in the form of the Surface Duo 2. However, without a third option in the he mobile space, iOS and Google may have presided over an infamous duopoly that actively stifles competition, while driving up prices for developers and consumers.

Longtime Windows Central readers may remember how tirelessly Google worked to undermine and stifle the Windows Phone platform. Google has arbitrarily restricted access to its APIs, preventing Microsoft and third-party developers from building Windows Phone versions of its apps. Notoriously, Microsoft built a YouTube client in partnership with Google, until the company randomly decided that Microsoft’s YouTube app “violated” its API rules, leading to native YouTube access effectively ending on Windows Phone. This bad faith anti-competitive behavior is not below Google (e.g. no ARM version of Chrome browser for Windows 11), as we all know, and they endured Billions fines around the world for this kind of practice. Still, they managed to contribute to the death of Windows Phone, cementing their monopoly on low-cost smartphones for now and into the near future.

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Google struck $360 million deal with Activision to block rival App Store, lawsuit claims https://androidappscritic.com/google-struck-360-million-deal-with-activision-to-block-rival-app-store-lawsuit-claims/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 22:17:00 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/google-struck-360-million-deal-with-activision-to-block-rival-app-store-lawsuit-claims/ OAKLAND, Calif., Nov 17 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc Google has reached at least 24 deals with major app developers to prevent them from competing with its Play Store, including a deal to pay Activision Blizzard Inc ( ATVI.O) about $360 million over three years, according to a court filing Thursday. Google also agreed in 2020 […]]]>

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov 17 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc Google has reached at least 24 deals with major app developers to prevent them from competing with its Play Store, including a deal to pay Activision Blizzard Inc ( ATVI.O) about $360 million over three years, according to a court filing Thursday.

Google also agreed in 2020 to pay the Riot Games unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), which earns “League of Legends,” about $30 million over one year, according to the filing.

The financial details emerged in a recently unredacted copy of a lawsuit that “Fortnite” video game maker Epic Games first filed against Google in 2020. It alleged anti-competitive practices related to the Android and Play Store businesses of the search giant.

Google called the lawsuit unfounded and full of misinterpretations. He said his deals to satisfy developers reflected healthy competition.

Activision said it never reached an agreement with Google not to open an App Store.

“Google has never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with Google Play,” Activision said. “Epic’s allegations are absurd.”

Riot said it is reviewing the filing.

Last year, Epic mainly lost a similar case against Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the other major app provider. An appeal decision in the case is expected next year.

Google’s deals with developers are part of an internal effort known as “Project Hug” and have been described in earlier versions of the lawsuit without the exact terms.

Compensation includes payments for publishing on YouTube and credits for Google ads and cloud services.

The deal with Activision was announced in January 2020, shortly after Google told it was planning to launch its own app store. The partnership with Riot was also intended to “stop their internal ‘app store’ efforts,” the court documents state.

Google predicted billions of dollars in lost app sales at the time if developers leaked to alternative systems.

Epic’s lawsuit alleges that Google knew the signing with Activision “effectively ensured that (Activision) would abandon its plan to launch a competing app store.” The deal raises prices and lowers the quality of service, the lawsuit added.

Others to sign with Google in July included games makers Nintendo Co (7974.T) and Ubisoft Entertainment SA (UBIP.PA), meditation app Calm and educational apps company Age of Learning. , according to court documents.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Richard Chang and Josie Kao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Paresh Dave

Thomson Reuters

San Francisco Bay Area-based technology journalist covering Google and the rest of Alphabet Inc. Joined Reuters in 2017 after four years at the Los Angeles Times focusing on the local tech industry.

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Google expands its teacher-approved Play Store apps program https://androidappscritic.com/google-expands-its-teacher-approved-play-store-apps-program/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 10:01:00 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/google-expands-its-teacher-approved-play-store-apps-program/ The company wants to make sure kids have a safe experience on Android Google offers a competent set of parental controls on Android that are getting better every day. But a child-safe operating system is only part of the equation. Kids also need a great selection of apps that won’t show them problematic content or […]]]>

The company wants to make sure kids have a safe experience on Android


Google offers a competent set of parental controls on Android that are getting better every day. But a child-safe operating system is only part of the equation. Kids also need a great selection of apps that won’t show them problematic content or ads. Google offers exactly that through its teacher-approved Kids section in the Play Store. To make it easier for developers to build towards this set of standards, Google is introducing new policies, expanding the program.

ANDROIDPOLICE VIDEO OF THE DAY

As Google explains in a blog post, the company is expanding its Teacher Approved program to make development easier. The company does this by combining teacher-approved policies with Google Play’s family policies. Going forward, all apps that meet these latter requirements are expected to be automatically eligible for selection to be part of the Teacher Approved section.

As Google explains, its experts “evaluate apps based on factors such as age appropriateness, quality of experience, enrichment, and enjoyment.” To explain to you why exactly an app has joined the teacher-approved list, the company will also add details on the particular sections in which an app excels. Over the next few weeks, apps that adhere to the Family Policy rules will also receive a new badge. in their Play Store listing, indicating that they “are committed to following the Play Families policy”.

In the same vein, Google is reviewing its advertising policy for applications for children. Changes have been made to the so-called Self-Certified Family Ads SDK program, which apps will need to implement by next year. Specifically, Google requires advertising SDKs to clearly state which version of its SDKs is for child-safe apps.

The Teacher Approved program was launched in 2020. Apps that pass the program are eligible to be part of the Kids section of the Play Store, which has thus turned into a curated list of quality apps. With the new changes in place, the Kids section may soon grow even larger, as app developers will find it easier to develop their products towards the combined standards.

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This Play Store app steals your banking app login details; delete it now! https://androidappscritic.com/this-play-store-app-steals-your-banking-app-login-details-delete-it-now/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 20:54:38 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/this-play-store-app-steals-your-banking-app-login-details-delete-it-now/ A new report from GBHackers reveals that a simple “To Do” app (it’s called Todo: Day manager) with over 1,000 installs is actually a malware-laden banking trojan known as Xenomorph. The Trojan was discovered by the Zscaler ThreatLabz team. Similar to the mythical Trojan horse, these apps have a surprise inside. Instead of soldiers, these […]]]>
A new report from GBHackers reveals that a simple “To Do” app (it’s called Todo: Day manager) with over 1,000 installs is actually a malware-laden banking trojan known as Xenomorph. The Trojan was discovered by the Zscaler ThreatLabz team. Similar to the mythical Trojan horse, these apps have a surprise inside. Instead of soldiers, these apps contain malware that can collect personal data and steal your hard-earned money.
Take the Xenomorph Trojan. Once inside your phone, it can steal the login credentials you use for banking apps you have installed on your handset. From there it’s probably just a little jump, jump and jump to get your bank account wiped out. It can also intercept SMS messages and notifications allowing the attacker to access one-time passwords (OTPs) and two-factor authorization requests, which could cause problems with some of your accounts.

If you have the Todo: Day manager app on your phone, be sure to remove it immediately. Even though it has been removed from the Play Store, once the app is installed on your device, you should uninstall it as soon as possible. With only 1,000 installs, chances are you’ve probably never installed this app. But there are still some lessons to be learned here.

A legitimate Play Store app will never ask you to download an app from a third-party app store (a process known as sideloading).

Some malware victims unwittingly set the ball rolling by responding to a phishing scam. It is an email or other form of communication that appears to come from a specific company until it has the correct icons and graphics. But in reality, the email was sent by a malicious actor seeking to collect personal data and trigger a malicious application previously installed on your device.

One thing you can do to avoid future problems is to read the comments section of an app you’re considering installing from a developer you’ve never heard of before. Look for red flags that might warn you against downloading that specific title. These warnings usually come from users who have fallen victim to a malware-laden app.

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TaiwanPlus removed from Apple’s App Store in China, website blocked https://androidappscritic.com/taiwanplus-removed-from-apples-app-store-in-china-website-blocked/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 14:36:00 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/taiwanplus-removed-from-apples-app-store-in-china-website-blocked/ Taipei, Nov 11 (CNA) The app of Taiwanese government-funded English-language online streaming service TaiwanPlus has been removed from Apple’s Chinese App Store, while its website has also been blocked in China , said the director of the news center of the organization, Laura Chao (趙元穎). told CNA on Friday. The App Store, Apple’s application distribution […]]]>

Taipei, Nov 11 (CNA) The app of Taiwanese government-funded English-language online streaming service TaiwanPlus has been removed from Apple’s Chinese App Store, while its website has also been blocked in China , said the director of the news center of the organization, Laura Chao (趙元穎). told CNA on Friday.

The App Store, Apple’s application distribution platform, informed TaiwanPlus on Thursday that its app would be removed from the Chinese App Store because “it includes content that is illegal in China,” according to the letter. App Store that TaiwanPlus posted on its social media. pages Friday.

It’s unclear what content the App Store called “illegal,” TaiwanPlus said in a statement.

Speaking to CNA by phone Friday night, Chao said the organization’s staff had used virtual private network (VPN) services to access the Chinese App Store earlier that day and discovered that the TaiwanPlus app was no longer available.

Chao added that the TaiwanPlus website, which was previously available in China, was also blocked.

The TaiwanPlus website and apps are still available to the rest of the world and will continue to provide unbiased media coverage to international audiences based on the principles of ethical journalism, Chao said.

It is unfortunate that people residing in China can no longer access TaiwanPlus services, Chao added.

Asked for a response, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, which sponsors the TaiwanPlus platform, said China should be more confident and not be “afraid” of professional media that produce objective reporting.

“What are you afraid of, China? said the ministry.

TaiwanPlus has upheld professional ethics in journalism and produced and broadcast high-quality international news and programs, the ministry said.

Chinese people are advised to watch TaiwanPlus services through VPN services to circumvent China’s “Great Firewall” internet censorship system, the ministry noted.

Since the official launch of TaiwanPlus on August 30, 2021, access to the platform has been available by downloading apps on iOS and Android, as well as via social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

In October, TaiwanPlus launched its new nationwide TV channel that day, broadcasting news and programs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

TaiwanPlus provides the latest news on Taiwan and international affairs, as well as reports covering a wide range of topics, including culture, technology, nature and lifestyle, according to its website.

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Store owner receives $1 million for Powerball jackpot: ‘No one deserves it anymore’ https://androidappscritic.com/store-owner-receives-1-million-for-powerball-jackpot-no-one-deserves-it-anymore/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 22:56:08 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/store-owner-receives-1-million-for-powerball-jackpot-no-one-deserves-it-anymore/ (KTLA) – California has a new billionaire – and a new millionaire. The owner of a convenience store where the winning $2.04 billion Powerball ticket was purchased will receive $1 million. The winner has yet to show up, but Southern California store owner Joe Chahayed said lotto officials informed him of the prize before it […]]]>

(KTLA) – California has a new billionaire – and a new millionaire.

The owner of a convenience store where the winning $2.04 billion Powerball ticket was purchased will receive $1 million.

The winner has yet to show up, but Southern California store owner Joe Chahayed said lotto officials informed him of the prize before it opened Tuesday morning.

“There is no one else who deserves it more than this man,” one of Chahayed’s sons said of his father.

Chahayed, who wore a California lottery shirt that read “millionaire made here”, came to the United States from Syria in the 1980s in search of a better life. He said he and his family had worked hard to open and run their own store.

On Tuesday he received a check for his share of the winnings, which he said he will share with his children and 11 grandchildren.

“We’re thrilled. We’re happy for California, happy for Los Angeles County and happy for the city of Altadena, we’re happy for the schools, they’re going to get more money,” Chahayed told KTLA.

For Powerball and Mega Millions, $1 million is the maximum incentive for retailers, according to the California Lottery.

Joe’s Service Center is located in Altadena, an unincorporated area east of Los Angeles. On Tuesday morning, California lottery officials announced that a customer had matched all six numbers in Monday night’s record $2.04 billion jackpot.

“Someone is holding a very important piece of paper this morning worth $2.04 billion,” California Lotto spokeswoman Carolyn Becker said at a morning press conference at the exterior of the store.

The winning numbers for Monday’s draw, which were not announced until Tuesday morning due to a technical glitch, were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56 and Powerball number 10. The Power Play multiplier was 2X.

“California Lottery makes its FIRST billionaire!” a Tweeter of the California Lotto read. The sign that now hovers above Joe’s Service Center had to be changed from “millionaire” to “billionaire” after the record jackpot.

Along with the record jackpot winner, three other tickets matched five numbers in California, officials said. These tickets were sold in Gardena, Beaumont and San Francisco.

Another winner is California Public Schools. The state lottery raised $156.3 million for public schools as people tried their luck in the raffle, Becker said.

Tickets worth $1 million were also sold in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon , Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, lotto officials said. A person in Florida won $2 million.

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Digicel welcomes you to its new store in downtown Port of Spain https://androidappscritic.com/digicel-welcomes-you-to-its-new-store-in-downtown-port-of-spain/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 14:53:45 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/digicel-welcomes-you-to-its-new-store-in-downtown-port-of-spain/ Digicel has a new home in the heart of the city of Port of Spain. On Thursday evening, dozens of people gathered at Excellent City Center in downtown Port of Spain for the launch of Digicel’s new experience store. Digicel Trinidad and Tobago CEO Abraham Smith said the opening of this store is one of […]]]>

Digicel has a new home in the heart of the city of Port of Spain.

On Thursday evening, dozens of people gathered at Excellent City Center in downtown Port of Spain for the launch of Digicel’s new experience store.

Digicel Trinidad and Tobago CEO Abraham Smith said the opening of this store is one of many milestones as the company delivers on its promise to deliver world-class experiences to its customers.

“This new store is our first Christmas gift to our customers, and tonight is very special as we also kick off our 2022 Christmas campaign and announce the ways Digicel customers will be gifted throughout the season,” said- he declared.

“Throughout the pandemic, Digicel has been a true leader in the digital space as we have kept T&T reliably connected to multiple digital touchpoints. These innovations have resulted in a dramatic decrease in foot traffic in some of our sites, the ANSA center being one of them. As fewer customers were physically visiting the store, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to move to a space where it would be closer to our customers and allow us to better serve This store is much more accessible, especially for the traveling public, as it is now on many taxi lines and we have ensured that it is well equipped to provide an enhanced customer experience.

According to Smith, the move of the ANSA center to Maraval Road in downtown Port of Spain demonstrates the company’s commitment to the city.

“While others have packed up and left town, Digicel continues to make huge investments to bridge the digital divide and bring technology to the people of Port of Spain. Digicel is committed to continuing its support for the plans government for a revitalized and rejuvenated capital.

Covering approximately 5,000 square feet, the new location is now Digicel’s largest store in Trinidad and Tobago and offers new services such as a learning center.

As the CEO explained, this “Knowledge Bar” is intended to engage customers and increase their proficiency in technology through educational workshops.

The store also features interactive device displays of the latest gadgets and mobile phones and customers will have access to an experiential zone where they can interact with products at home.

We’ve thought about the customer, simplified their experience with us, and taken it a step further digital with the inclusion of more self-service kiosks for paying bills and self-service computers where customers can request services, solve problems and register tickets. by them selves. This new experience store also gives customers more time to shop, as we are now open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it gives customers the opportunity to enjoy a plethora of nearby amenities here in Excellent City. Center.

On Thursday, Digicel also launched its 2022 Christmas campaign- Digicel in everything.

This Christmas, with over $1 million in prizes up for grabs, Digicel is giving back to all of its customers.

“We listened to feedback from our customers and realized they want prices that can help them meet the challenges of their daily lives,” said CEO Abraham Smith.

Prizes up for grabs in the Digicel in Everything promotion include:

  • A grand prize winner will walk away with $100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars) in cash, a home improvement and free groceries for a year.
  • There will be daily and weekly bonuses and prizes like new TVs and PCs.
  • New customers who sign up for Digicel+ get one month of HBO Max and Disney+ and are eligible to win.

“Now that the world is opening up again, we want to help our customers travel and experience new things, so we also have a pair of plane tickets up for grabs this season. I told you, customers are winning with Digicel, and we have great prizes just for them,” said Digicel CEO TT.

Promotion ends January 4e.

Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez was among those present at the event.

In his remarks, he expressed his gratitude for what he described as Digicel’s unwavering commitment to the development and revitalization of Port of Spain.

“Although the pandemic has presented us with difficult times, I am happy to see that our fellow citizens are persevering and striving to achieve more. This includes our corporate citizens who I have reached out to with ideas to advance projects to keep our city’s heart beating. I’m very happy to say that among the first to respond is usually the CEO of Digicel, Abraham Smith and his phenomenal team. Digicel was excited to support the Council and its work to achieve the Government’s mandate for a revitalized Port of Spain.

Mayor Martinez said around this time last year that the Digicel team had worked with Port of Spain council to bring Christmas cheer to the capital.

“Digicel fully supports the Council, the capital and the revitalization plans,” he said. “We also look forward to their Christmas partnership in the square in December.

Also present at Thursday’s event were: Sacha Thompson – Chairman of the Board of Directors of Digicel (Trinidad and Tobago), members of the City Council and the company of Port of Spain, representatives of the various chambers of commerce and Franco Siu Chong – Managing Director and Chairman and CEO of the Excellent Stores group of companies.

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Jamaican grocery store in Charlotte set to close rents https://androidappscritic.com/jamaican-grocery-store-in-charlotte-set-to-close-rents/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 02:28:00 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/jamaican-grocery-store-in-charlotte-set-to-close-rents/ The beloved grocery store that customers said made them feel right at home is closing due to rising rents. CHARLOTTE, NC — A popular international grocery store is closing Saturday, Nov. 5. Island Grocery and Grill on the east side of Charlotte is set to close with nowhere to go due to rising rents in […]]]>

The beloved grocery store that customers said made them feel right at home is closing due to rising rents.

CHARLOTTE, NC — A popular international grocery store is closing Saturday, Nov. 5. Island Grocery and Grill on the east side of Charlotte is set to close with nowhere to go due to rising rents in the Queen City.

The store owner and customers told WCNC Charlotte that it was hard to swallow the news because of what the store has on offer. Many have called it a “home away from home”.

Steel drums play in the aisles of Island Grocery and Grill. People inside will say it’s like being back on the island. Customers said the sounds and smells reminded people of home.

Island Grocery and Grill has been part of Caroline Coke’s family for a very long time.

“We’ve been here 20 years,” Coke said. “It’s a family. This store is part of me.”

It serves the growing community of Jamaican Americans living in Charlotte.

Customers, young and old, came all week to pick up their forms at the store. All in disbelief at the news.

Coke said it had been in negotiations with the landlord for months and its deal fell through. Now she is looking for a new place. But it came with its own challenges.

“With the prices, how can we afford it?” Coke said.

As Coke resists the store, many customers have said immigrants and their businesses are being squeezed out of the area due to rising prices and inflation.

“The immigrant population continues to be crowded out,” said one customer.

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Google Play Points program launched in India offers rewards for Play Store spending https://androidappscritic.com/google-play-points-program-launched-in-india-offers-rewards-for-play-store-spending/ Mon, 31 Oct 2022 14:19:51 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/google-play-points-program-launched-in-india-offers-rewards-for-play-store-spending/ Google Play Points is the latest program launched by the company’s Play Store rewards initiative in India. The Google Play Points reward program allows its users to earn points for every action they perform in the Google Play Marketplace. Among the list of actions, some actions include downloading new apps to subscribe to services, books […]]]>

Google Play Points is the latest program launched by the company’s Play Store rewards initiative in India. The Google Play Points reward program allows its users to earn points for every action they perform in the Google Play Marketplace. Among the list of actions, some actions include downloading new apps to subscribe to services, books and more that will start rolling out in the coming weeks. The Google Play Points program has four tiers which are determined as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All of these levels offer different benefits. The program is currently available in approximately 28 countries.

In a blog post, the search giant introduced the Google Play points program in India on Tuesday. With this program, Google will allow its users to earn points when they make purchases on Google Play, including in-app items, apps, games, and subscriptions.

Tiered tiers of the Google Play Points reward program are based on the number of points collected. Each new tier facilitates different perks and prizes depending on the tier they belong to.

Google partners with some popular apps and game developers to redeem points for special in-app items. In India, Google has partnered with over 30 players, including 8 Ball Pool, Evony: The King’s return, Ludo King and Ludo Star, as well as apps such as Truecaller and Wysa. Additionally, users can redeem their points for Google Play credit. Apart from the availability of the reward in 28 countries, Google claims that more than 100 users are also using it.

In the coming weeks, Google Play Points will also be available for country users. The program is free and there are no recurring or monthly fees to join. You can access it by tapping on your profile icon from the Play Store app on your Android device.

Competing with Apple’s App Store, Google Play Points was first launched in Japan in September 2018. The motive for launching the program was to encourage users to purchase more through the Play Store. It was later revealed that in South Korea and the United States in 2019. In some of the selected countries, redemption can be done in Google Play Points to rent a movie or buy an audiobook. In the United States, points can be used to support a charitable cause.

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Google filing says EU antitrust division is investigating Play Store practices • TechCrunch https://androidappscritic.com/google-filing-says-eu-antitrust-division-is-investigating-play-store-practices-techcrunch/ Thu, 27 Oct 2022 18:19:40 +0000 https://androidappscritic.com/google-filing-says-eu-antitrust-division-is-investigating-play-store-practices-techcrunch/ A regulatory filing from Google appears to have confirmed rumors in recent months that the European Union’s competition division is investigating how it operates its smartphone app store, the Play Store. However, TechCrunch understands that no formal EU investigation into the Play Store has been opened at this stage. SEC Form 10-Q, filed by Google’s […]]]>

A regulatory filing from Google appears to have confirmed rumors in recent months that the European Union’s competition division is investigating how it operates its smartphone app store, the Play Store.

However, TechCrunch understands that no formal EU investigation into the Play Store has been opened at this stage.

SEC Form 10-Q, filed by Google’s parent company Alphabet (and spotted earlier by Reuters), mentions the initiation of “official” investigations into Google Play’s “business practices” in May 2022 – at the both by the European Commission and the United Kingdom. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The fact is that the Commission’s procedure when opening a formal competition investigation is to make a public announcement – so the absence of this standard regulatory disclosure suggests that any EU investigation is at a more preliminary stage than the Google quote suggests.

The UK antitrust regulator’s investigation into Google Play is undoubtedly a formal one – having been made public by the CMA in June – when it said it would investigate Google’s rules governing app access to the Internet. listing on its Play Store, looking at the terms it sets for how users can make in-app payments for certain digital products.

While in August, Politico reported that the Commission had sent out questionnaires probing Play Store billing terms and development fees – citing two people familiar with the matter. And potentially suggesting that an investigation was underway. Although the EU executive declined to comment on its report.

A Commission spokeswoman also declined to comment when we asked about the “formal investigation” mentioned in Google’s filing (at the time of writing, Google had also not responded to requests for this). topic).

But we understand there’s no “official” EU investigation into Play yet – at least not how the EU itself understands the word.

This may be because the EU Competition Division is still assessing the responses to inquiries made so far – and/or assessing whether there are grounds for concern. .

Alternatively, he could have decided that he had no concerns about how Google operates the Play Store. Although developer complaints about app store commissions taken by Google (and Apple) – via the 30% discount typically applied to in-app purchases (a lower rate of 15% may initially apply) – have not not diminished. On the contrary, complaints have multiplied, especially following moves by tech giants to expand the types of sales that incur their tax. The absence of concern for competition here therefore seems unlikely.

Last year, the Commission also accused Apple of an antitrust violation related to the mandatory use of its in-app purchase mechanism imposed on developers of music streaming apps (in particular) and the restrictions imposed on developers preventing them from informing users of alternative and cheaper payment options.

So the app store terms and conditions are definitely on the EU radar.

More than that: the EU recently passed legislation that aims, among various proactive provisions, to regulate the fairness of app store terms. Thus, the existence of this new ex ante competition regime seems the most likely explanation why there is no formal EU investigation into Google Play today.

As regards Google, the Commission has has already taken several major antitrust actions against his company over the past five-plus years – with rulings against Google Shopping, Android and AdSense; as well as an ongoing investigation into Google’s adtech stack (plus another into an advertising deal between Google and Facebook).

Another consideration here is that EU lawmakers have had a very busy year reaching consensus on a number of major elements of digital regulation – including the aforementioned ex ante competition reform (aka the law on Digital Markets; DMA) which will throw the Commission into a centralized enforcement role overseeing the so-called ‘gatekeepers’ of the internet.

This incoming regime forces the Commission to quickly create new divisions to oversee DMA compliance and enforcement – ​​so the EU may feel a little stretched on the resource front. But – more importantly – he can also try to keep his powder dry.

Essentially, the Commission may want to see if the DMA itself can do the job of triaging complaints from app developers – since the regulations contain a number of provisions specifically aimed at app stores, including a ban for guardians to impose “general conditions, including tariff conditions”. , which would be unfair or lead to unjustified differentiation [on business users],” for example.

The regulation is expected to start applying from spring 2023, so a new competition investigation of Google’s App Store at this stage could risk duplicating or complicating the application of terms already embedded in the law. of the EU. (Although the process of designating gatekeepers and basic platform services will have to precede any application – so the real DMA action might not happen until 2024).

For its part, Google denies any antitrust wrongdoing anywhere in the world. His business practices are under investigation.

In the section of his filing summarizing antitrust investigations targeting his business, he wrote, “We believe these complaints are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

His filing also reveals that he intends to appeal to the EU’s highest court after his bid to overturn the EU’s Android ruling was rejected last month. (The CJEU will only hear appeals on a question of law, so it remains to be seen what Google will try to argue.)

Privacy sandbox

Also today, the UK’s CMA released its second report on Google’s ongoing monitoring of commitments as it develops a new adtech stack to replace tracking cookies (aka Privacy Sandbox).

The regulator said it found Google to be compliant with commitments made so far – and listed its current priorities as: ensuring Google designs a robust testing framework for its proposed new tools and APIs; continue to engage with market players to understand the concerns they raise, challenge Google on its proposed approaches, and explore alternative designs for Privacy Sandbox tools that might address these issues; and the integration of a recently appointed independent technical expert (a company called S-RM) into the monitoring regime.

The CMA report also reveals that – along with the UK’s privacy watchdog, the ICO – it is in discussions with Google on the design of user controls for when Privacy Sandbox will reach availability. general in 2023.

So it will be interesting to see if UK regulators are enabled enough to prevent the usual manipulative design tricks from being cynically incorporated into these future advertising consent interfaces.

“Google presented its current proposed user interfaces for subject controls, FLEDGE and ad measurement. Working with the ICO, we are continuing to engage with Google on this and what drives design decisions. regarding the consent flow for activation or deactivation”, notes the CMA on this subject.

“A key feature of our final Privacy Sandbox evaluation will be to assess both the privacy impacts of the technologies themselves and how they compare to their performance against development and implementation criteria, including the competition,” he continues, adding, “We are continuing to work with the ICO on approaches to measuring and assessing the impacts of Google’s changes to data privacy.

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