The European Commission has opened an investigation into the proposed purchase of NXP Semiconductors by Qualcomm. The EC's examination of the acquisition is being launched under concerns that the purchase may result in a decrease in market competition for the automotive semiconductor space. NXP is a big provider for that market, particularly when it comes to NFC and "secure element" cryptographic devices. In cars, these features are used in things like key fobs. Read More
Games featuring phones are all the rage right now, huh? After Strange Telephone earlier today, we came across A Normal Lost Phone, from Accidental Queens. The game features a character who finds, unsurprisingly, a lost cell phone, and then attempts to return the device by looking through text messages and other items to identify the owner. Read More
In the beginning, there was Android. Android was an open-source, largely hardware-agnostic operating system designed to work on a variety of devices and form-factors, and then Google bought the company that made it (also called Android, founded by Andy Rubin). Then, there was Google's Android. Google's Android was still open source, but now it came with stuff you'd actually want to use. Like an app store. And Google Maps. And Gmail. And Google Search. And did I mention Android itself was and is still open source? Because it was and is, and will continue to be likely for many, many, many years into the future. Read More
Update, 9-4-13: a Verizon Wireless spokesman reached out to say that the wireless provider hasn't been fined by the FCC, and that the landline services provider (providers of home Internet and cable services) is the one being fined. Verizon and Verizon Wireless are technically separate companies. The headline and story text have been altered to reflect this.
There are a lot of good reasons not to like Verizon. But the Federal Communications Commission has taken particular exception to at least one of Verizon's practices from way back in 2006. In a post on the Commission's website, a press release details how the FCC Enforcement Bureau investigated an incident in which Verizon may have used some customer's personal information to market extra services to them, without informing said customers of their right to opt out of the data collection. Read More
You can't talk about mobile gaming without mentioning the elephant in the room: the free-to-play model. The bane of many a purist gamer and unwitting parent, an over-reliance on free downloads and hooks for in-app purchases has made mobile gaming a minefield of games based on upsell and addiction. Italy's had enough, and its antitrust authority is investigating app store owners Google, Apple, and Amazon, and game publisher Gameloft, for unfair commercial practices.
According to a Reuters report, the authority is trying to determine whether advertising games as free when they require purchases to continue constitutes an unfair practice. Read More
Bad news for Verizon subscribers: Verizon isn't just raping you on your bill, they're really getting you up the pooper because they're making a few more dollars off of you by selling your personal data. Things like where you are, what you're doing on your phone, your gender, age, and personal details like whether you're a "sports enthusiast, frequent diner, or pet owner."
Meanwhile, the FTC is investigating Google for possibly "abusing its dominance of internet search in violation of antitrust laws" and - get this - "misusing patent protections to block rivals' smartphones from coming to market." What? Read More
Over at Google's Public Policy Blog (yes, that really exists) today, Senior VP Dennis Woodside issued a statement that the U.S. Department of Justice was taking a "second look" at certain potential antitrust issues in the Google-Motorola deal. What's it mean?
A $12.5 billion acquisition of a major US company that has been independent for over 30 years is always going to invite scrutiny from Uncle Sam, and let's face it, it's probably not a bad sign that the government is batting a second eye at these kinds of purchases.
Google, according to the post as shown below, remains confident that the deal will go through, and is cooperating fully with the DoJ during this evaluation, one Google has undergone before. Read More