Techmeme
June 18, 2020, 5:07 PM

Top News

Seth Schiesel / New York Times:
Sources: since February, Apple has rejected at least five versions of Facebook Gaming, citing rules that prohibit apps that primarily distribute casual games  —  Apple has repeatedly denied Facebook's new Gaming app from appearing in its App Store, citing its own rules.
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:
Microsoft says some app stores are creating a far higher barrier to fair competition than Microsoft did when found guilty of antitrust violations 20 years ago  —  Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith said it's time for antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe to discuss tactics …
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Q&A with House antitrust committee chair Rep. David Cicilline who says Apple is acting like a monopolist and a bully whose App Store fees are “highway robbery”  —  Apple is acting like a monopolist and a bully, according to the chairman of the House antitrust subcommittee.
Media Matters for America:
Facebook says it has removed ads from Trump's 2020 campaign that featured Nazi iconography; the campaign ran 88 ads with the inverted red triangle symbol  —  Update (6/18/20, 1:15 p.m. EDT): Facebook has removed the ads in question following this post and public backlash.
Leo Kelion / BBC:
In a major U-turn, UK government abandons its own coronavirus-tracing app approach and shifts to the model based on Google and Apple's API  —  In a major U-turn, the UK is ditching the way its current coronavirus-tracing app works and shifting to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google.
Financial Times:
German payments group Wirecard says €1.9B cash is missing and that “spurious cash balances” might have been provided to its auditor by a third party  —  Shares of payments group crash as it says a third-party may have tried ‘to deceive’ its auditor
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Google's Area 120 launches Keen, an automated, machine learning-based app similar to Pinterest that lets users track their interests  —  A new project called Keen is launching today from Google's in-house incubator for new ideas, Area 120, to help users track their interests.
The Markup:
Investigation finds nearly 100 Amazon listings for products it bans, like drugs, weapons, and spy gear, some sold as “Amazon's Choice” and some by Amazon itself  —  The online giant bans products related to drugs, spying and weapons, but we found plenty for sale …
Jeremy Roebuck / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Court filings show how the FBI used a Philadelphia protester's Etsy profile, LinkedIn, and other internet history to charge her with setting police cars ablaze  —  As demonstrators shouted, fires burned outside City Hall, and Philadelphia convulsed with outrage over the death of George Floyd …
Sarah Frier / Bloomberg:
Following public condemnation from two Black employees, Pinterest CEO says that it plans to add a person of color to its board, evaluate compensation, and more  —  - CEO commits to non-White board member by end of year  — Company will evaluate whether Black employees are underpaid
Alfred Ng / CNET:
Facebook files lawsuits in the US and Europe against developers it alleges scraped user data, as the company increasingly turns to lawsuits to stop data abuses  —  Facebook is suing a developer it alleges was behind a data scraping campaign that took personal information, including login credentials …
New York Times:
US withdraws from international digital tax negotiations with European countries, saying it'll retaliate if they move forward with new taxes on US tech firms  —  The breakdown in negotiations could prompt President Trump to retaliate against countries that impose taxes on American tech firms.
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:
Facebook acquires Swedish mapping startup Mapillary, which is building a crowdsourced database of street-level imagery  —  Mapillary, the Swedish startup that wants to take on Google and others in mapping the world via a crowdsourced database of street-level imagery, has been acquired by Facebook, according to the company's blog.
Thanks:@sohear
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Stockwell, the AI-based vending machine formerly known as Bodega, which had raised at least $45M, will be shutting down July 1  —  Stockwell AI entered the world with a bang but it is leaving with a whimper.  Founded in 2017 by ex-Googlers, the AI vending machine startup formerly known …
Will Knight / Wired:
Baidu says it has left The Partnership on AI, a US-led effort to foster collaboration on the ethical challenges of AI; Baidu was the only Chinese member  —  The search giant was the only Chinese member of the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, a US-led effort to foster collaboration on ethical issues.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Payfone, which offers a service to identify and verify people using data gleaned from their mobile phones, raises $100M, bringing its total raised to $175M  —  As an increasing number of daily and essential services move to digital platforms — a trend that's had a massive fillip in the last few months …
Dan Primack / Axios:
DoorDash raises $400M led by Durable Capital Partners, at a $16B post-money valuation  —  DoorDash has raised $400 million in new equity funding at a $16 billion post-money valuation, Axios has learned.  —  Why it matters: For all the talk of deals that didn't happen because of coronavirus, this one is a product of the pandemic.

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