Apple culls Beats webpage from online store ahead of ‘iPhone 12’ event [u]

Apple has altered its website to remove a page for “Beats by Dre,” a possible sign that the company is shifting itself away from the headphone electronics brand in favor of its own name.

Since the purchase of Beats in 2014, Apple has promoted the popular brand at the same time as its own products, and in recent years technologies developed by Apple have crossed over to Beats devices. However, it seems that Apple is slowly moving from promoting Beats on its own website, by removing a prominent page about the hardware.

Spotted by Apple Terminal, the page in the online Apple Store for “Beats by Dr. Dre” listed the Beats products Apple sold, across multiple product lines. The list ranged from the wireless Powerbeats Pro earphones to premium over-ear models like the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones.

The exact date of when the page was taken down is unknown, but Wayback Machine results point to it happening between October 2 and October 9. Attempts to visit the page now result in a message stating “The page you’re looking for can’t be found.”

Despite the removal of the page, Apple is still selling Beats products in its online store as usual. It is feasible that the page could have been taken down as part of a general tidying up of online assets ahead of Tuesday’s special event.

Rumors about Apple migrating away from the Beats brand have surfaced since the high-priced acquisition took place, but so far the brand has been maintained and expanded upon by Apple.

One possible reason for its removal could be Apple’s preparation to launch the “AirPods Studio,” a pair of premium over-ear headphones that are rumored to provide AirPods Pro features in a more luxurious package. Thought to be

Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed monopoly power in the U.S. The report suggests that Congress make changes to break up their businesses. In Apple’s case, the company was deemed to have market power in the app distribution business, meaning its App Store. The report agrees that while the App Store provides significant benefits to both consumers and developers, Apple has also controlled the App Store in a way that allows it to create barriers to competition and exploits developer data to its advantage.

Apple responded that it “vehemently” disagrees with the report’s conclusions…”with respect to Apple.”:

Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business. From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we’ve built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally. Hosting close

Proud Boys Website, Online Store Dropped by Web Host

The Proud Boys, an FBI-designated extremist group with ties to white nationalism, lost its web host for the group’s website and online store following efforts from advocacy group Color of Change.

“After a heads up from Color of Change, we notified one of our customers — a website hoster — who then took action. The websites in question were not Google Cloud customers,” a Google Cloud spokesperson told TheWrap on Friday.

As of Friday evening, however, the extremist group appears to have gotten a new host for its website, but the online store is not currently taking orders and a note to online customers says that the “migration to a new webhost has taken longer than anticipated.”

Also Read: Vice Media CEO Assures Staff That Founder Gavin McInnes, Who Also Launched Proud Boys, Has No Ties to Company Anymore

Still, Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, praised Google for its “actions to block the Proud Boys website and online store” but called on “Google’s peers to follow suit.”

“Big Tech companies have the power and resources to take meaningful action, but instead turn to last-minute, knee-jerk reactions that often fail to prevent further violent harm or even death,” Robinson said in a statement. “When you allow domestic terrorist groups, right-wing militias, and violent hate groups to recruit, organize, and mobilize on your platform, there is no longer a question of whether your company cares about Black people and other marginalized communities — YOU DON’T.”

He added, “Tech companies must enact and enforce a proactive, aggressive approach to stop the violent, hateful activity on its platforms — it cannot continue to fall on advocates, as it has for far too long,” Robinson continued. “Anything short of creating the policies and enforcement mechanisms necessary to proactively keep these hate-fueled groups

US judge rules Apple could bar Epic Games’s ‘Fortnite’ from App Store

  • A US judge in California ruled Friday that Apple could bar Epic Games’s “Fortnite” game from its App Store, but the tech company must not harm Epic’s developer tools business.
  • “The Court maintains its findings from the temporary restraining order and hereby grants in part and denies in part Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled.
  • Last month, Epic Games had filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account after Apple terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store.
  • Epic sued Apple in August alleging anticompetitive behavior. The lawsuit came after Epic rolled out its own payment system in the popular Fortnite video game.
  • Apple does not allow such alternative payment systems and removed Fortnite from the App Store and threatened to terminate Epic’s developer accounts, which would have affected Epic’s other business of selling software used to create games.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

(Reuters) – A federal judge in California on Friday ruled in an injunction request that Apple Inc could bar Epic Games’s “Fortnite” game from its App Store but must not harm Epic’s developer tools business, which includes the “Unreal Engine” software used by hundreds of other video games.

“The Court maintains its findings from the temporary restraining order and hereby grants in part and denies in part Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled.

Epic Games and Apple were not immediately available for comment on the ruling.

Last month, Epic Games had filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account after the iPhone maker terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store.

Epic sued Apple in August,

Apple does not need to return Fortnite to App Store, judge rules

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge ruled Friday that Apple did not need to reinstate the popular video game Fortnite in its App Store, in a blow to Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, which is locked in an antitrust battle with the tech giant over its app store fees and rules.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California said in her ruling that Apple’s ban of the game could continue because Epic had violated its contract with Apple. There is “significant public interest” in requiring companies to adhere to contracts or resolve disputes through the normal course, she wrote.

But Gonzales Rogers also said that Apple could not ban Unreal Engine, Epic’s developer tools, from its platforms because of the “potential significant damage to both developers and gamers” who rely on the software.

The mixed ruling showed the high cost of taking on a tech behemoth like Apple, even for an established company like Epic. The 116 million people who have accessed Fortnite through Apple’s systems will continue to be kept away while Epic and Apple prepare for a trial in the case, which is scheduled for May.

An Epic spokeswoman said the company “is grateful that Apple will continue to be barred from retaliating against Unreal Engine and our game development customers.” Epic will continue developing for Apple’s platforms and “pursue all avenues to end Apple’s anti-competitive behavior,” she said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Epic’s battle with Apple comes as the largest tech companies face scrutiny of their power. On Tuesday, House lawmakers said Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google had exercised and abused their monopoly power to stifle competition and harm consumers and recommended that the companies be restructured. European regulators have also opened an investigation into whether Apple’s app