Good Morning. (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)
Fortnite hits a fight
Apple and Google have Fortnite kicked out of their app storesThis makes the hugely popular and hugely lucrative video game unavailable to many iPhone and Android device users. It follows the steps of Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, and encourages users of the game’s mobile app to pay for it directly instead of going through the online stores that mean a drop in sales.
The tech giants insist on handling app payments and receive a commission of 30 percent for transactions through your branches. This Gatekeeper Policy is at the center of antitrust complaints against Apple and Google in the US and Europe. After the Fortnite ban, Epic sued Apple and Google in federal court. His C.E.O., Tim Sweeney, promised: “a hell of a fight. ”
• Epic’s argument: Apple and Google jointly dominate the mobile platforms and cannot trust that they will charge “fair” prices.
• Argument from Apple and Google: They built and maintained their platforms and should be able to charge what they want. In other words, they are not public utilities.
It’s a bold move by Epicand likely defeat, at least in the short term. Neither Apple nor Google are likely to capitulate: if that were the case, they would have to offer the same terms to everyone on their platforms. (“These guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users,” Apple said in a statement.) However, a protracted legal battle could put more pressure on the tech giants in Washington, Brussels and other places that control their market power watch. When Epic brings app developers together to stand up for its cause, That could be a problem for the platforms too.
• Since March 2018, Fortnite has been downloaded more than 130 million times on iPhones and iPads, which, according to Sensor Tower, generates sales of around 360 million US dollars for Apple. Downloading apps on Android devices outside of the Google store is easier. Therefore, fewer commissions were earned from the sale of Fortnite, which has only been available in the online shop since April. Fortnite can also be played on other devices, computers and consoles, so iPhone and Android users can get lost without going completely dark.
This is not a real negotiation. For Epic Games, it’s as much a PR event as anything else. Within minutes of Fortnite being banned by Apple – something Epic clearly expected – one was released skillfully produced video parody from Apple’s famous “1984” ad. Mr. Sweeney, the head of the game manufacturer, described the dispute as no less “critical to the future of mankind” and pointed to the risk of submission to “companies that control all commerce and all language”.
• Spotify, which has fought a similar battle with Apple, made a statement in support of Epic and against Apple’s so-called “unfair practices”.
• It’s worth noting that Epic launched its own app store in 2018. It charges developers a 12 percent commission which, in its opinion, is still comfortably profitable.
What’s Worse for Apple: No Fortnite or No WeChat? Losing Fortnite’s mostly young fans is bad, but the Trump administration’s threat to ban US companies from doing business with China’s WeChat could have repercussions large number of iPhone users. The longer these disputes go on, the greater the risk that people who feel like they can’t live without a particular game or messaging app will think twice about buying Apple devices.
Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York and Geneva Abdul and Jason Karaian in London.
Something happened here
The Trump administration said Yale discriminated against Asian American and white applicants. After a two-year investigation, the Justice Department charged Ivy League University Violation of the Federal Citizenship LawThis adds to the challenges for a positive action policy that is expected to reach the Supreme Court. Last year did the administration supported Asian American students who accused Harvard of systematic discrimination.
Refinancing mortgages is getting more and more expensive. Interest rates remain at record lows, but two of America’s largest mortgage financiers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced a fee of 0.5 percentciting the need to recover the expected losses related to the pandemic. The fees add an additional $ 1,400 to refinance a mortgage for the average homeowner.
Real estate investors bring owners to court. Mezzanine lenders such as hedge funds and private equity firms sue commercial real estate landlords and property developers Exclude assets and offset losses from delinquent debts. One of the battles is a Times Square retail complex owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s advisor and son-in-law.
The head of the labor ministry was accused of meddling in a wage discrimination case. A senior attorney said the agency’s head Eugene Scalia had a low deal with Oracle, the technology giant, in a long-standing dispute over wage discrimination that came about in the Obama administration.
Daimler paid off the emissions fraud charges with a fine of $ 2.2 billion. The money covers fines and a class action lawsuit Mercedes owners lawsuit for a fraction of the $ 20 billion German automaker Volkswagen paid to settle similar fees.
Help is not on the way yet
The good news: New unemployment benefit claims in the US fell below a million for the first time since March last week.
The bad news: Claims remain high by historical standards and other signs suggest that the economy is losing momentum. In addition, the new aid to the unemployed is likely to be smaller than originally proposed, and it is not clear when it will start, how long it will last or how many workers it will cover.
In the newspapers
Some of the academic research that caught our attention this week summarized in one sentence:
• The rise in corporate market power explains many “undesirable” trends. (Isabel Cairó and Jae Sim)
• Fintech firms have stepped up for small businesses in places that are underserved by banks. (Isil Erel and Jack Liebersohn)
• Companies often mistake luck for skills when they start a new C.E.O. (Mario Daniele Amore and Sebastian Schwenen)
Weekend Reading: How to Restore the Middle Class
Jim Tankersley reports on The Times economic and tax policy in Washington. His new book “The Wealth of This Land: The Untold, True Story of the American Middle Class, ”Is out this week. In it he Challenges the “whitewashed” leave it to the beaver “story that so many people have led them to believe” about the post-WWII economic boom – and the ensuing bankruptcy for many who once considered themselves middle class.
Jim spoke to DealBook about what went wrong and how to fix it.
What does the book say for DealBook readers?
I hope it is both insightful and challenging. And maybe hopeful.
The basic idea is that reducing discrimination in the American economy really gave us the continued post-war bourgeois boom. The study says that 40 percent of the post-1960 growth in this country can be attributed to the removal of professional barriers for women of all races and for black men.
If we could break through the barriers for women and Americans of color to move forward, get good jobs and get paid for what they’re worth, we could start another productivity boom that I know Wall Street likes to think about.
How do you define “middle class”?
Essentially, it is about economic stability. To me, being middle class means having enough income and assets to afford a home, a car, an education for your children, retirement and health care. You can give your children the chance to build an even better life than you built for your life.
We have seen millions of Americans either missed those dreams or left the middle class for many reasons over the past few decades.
What is one of the main problems?
We got impatient. There is this idea that the work on civil rights has been completed. White men have ruled this country for most of its history, and the white men in particular who ruled the country in the 1980s have done a lot to push back civil rights. They fought positive action in court, and the Reagan administration waged a war on drugs that resulted in the mass incarceration of black men. These things hindered progress.
Has the pandemic changed your thinking about it? Or the protests against racial inequality?
I had a finished draft of the book by New Years. In March, we decided to rip it up and add 10,000 words to the pandemic. If anything, the events of the past few months have reinforced what I had there. This crisis is aimed exclusively at the very kind of workers that the economy has left behind.
With regard to the protests against racial injustice, I have a contrary stance: I think the protests have given me economic hope for America more than any other development in recent months. The protests have forced an increasing proportion of white Americans to recognize the extent to which systemic racism still exists. Recognizing a problem is always the first step towards politics. That gives me hope that we can see a revival of the middle class in our country.
Read the speed
• SoftBank will provide WeWork with $ 1.1 billion to cover costs associated with the pandemic. The Japanese conglomerate has already invested more than 10 billion US dollars in the shared office start-up. (FT)
• The plant-based meat supplier Impossible Foods raised US $ 200 million in its last round of financing, which has increased the amount since 2011 to US $ 1.5 billion. (Reuters)
• Fat Brands is betting that casual dining will recover from the pandemic by buying burger chain Johnny Rockets for $ 25 million (WSJ)
Politics and politics
• Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen advises the Biden Harris campaign. (Bloomberg)
• “Do you think QAnon is on the verge? So was the tea party “(NYT)
• India will prevent China’s Huawei and ZTE from participating in building its 5G network. (Bloomberg)
• The US government seized $ 2 million worth of cryptocurrencies tied to al-Qaeda, ISIS and the paramilitary arm of Hamas. (NYT)
The best of the rest
• Nevada is dependent on tourism and has an unemployment rate of 15 percent. It is struggling with bars reopening and great entertainment venues. (CNN)
• Although European governments offer workers holiday lines for vacation, many with irregular contracts have been excluded from the tourism, catering and service industries. (NYT)
• How the NBA tries to bring a sense of normalcy to playoff games in the “bubble”. (quartz)
Thank you for reading! We meet next week.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Please email your thoughts and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.