News roundup – Google Maps thwarted by German watchdog, Tesla faces ‘mass layoff’ lawsuit and Apple heads ARM-based PC market
Twitter cracks down on abusive tweets
Twitter has introduced a new Edit button feature in an effort to eradicate potentially abusive, harmful, or offensive tweets after a push from Tesla’s Elon Musk, now Twitter’s largest shareholder. It will shortly begin testing the button with its Twitter Blue premium subscribers before rolling it out globally. Twitter hinted this is to address questions such as how long will users have to edit a tweet and how many times can the tweets be edited, and, in time, it hopes that these changes can bring about significant movements in the social media space.
Apple leads in ARM-based PC market
Apple now dominates the PC market for ARM-powered silicon chips, according to a new report from analyst firm Strategy Analytics (SA). In 2021, the tech company possessed almost 90% of the revenue from this market. Its main competitors now comprise of Chromebooks with ARM chips inside, and also a number of Windows on ARM laptops (with Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs).
“Qualcomm captured just 3% revenue share in the ARM-based notebook PC processor market in 2021 and lags Apple in CPU performance,” said Sravan Kundojjala, a director at Strategy Analytics, and author of the report. The only concern that may dampen Apple’s sales prospects, is how much of a factor lockdown disruption in China might be in terms of interfering with production and shipping numbers in due course.
Google Maps under scrutiny by German watchdog
Germany’s cartel office has launched an investigation of Google Germany and parent Alphabet Inc over potential anti-competitive restrictions on the Google Maps platform. It has information to suggest that Google “may be restricting the combination of its own map services with third-party map services,” said Bundeskartellamt head Andreas Mundt.
He added that examples of this may relate to the embedding of Google Maps location data, the search function, or Google Street View into maps not provided by Google. The regulator is contending whether this would allow the tech platform to expand its position of power regarding certain map services. The office has also used the rules to open investigations into Google’s terms and conditions for data processing and the Google News Showcase, as well as tech giants Facebook and Amazon.
Tesla stung by former employees over ‘mass layoff’ lawsuit
Two Former US Tesla employees have filed a lawsuit against the US electric car company alleging its decision to carry out a “mass layoff” violated federal law as the company did not provide advance notice of the job cuts. The workers said they were terminated from Tesla’s gigafactory plant in Sparks, Nevada, in June, and according to the suit, over 500 employees were terminated at the factory in total.
Tesla, who did not immediately respond to the request, said it needed to cut staff by 10% as it had a “bad feeling” about the economy. Tesla CEO Elon Musk described the lawsuit as “trivial” and said that it had “no standing”. The suit aims to seek class action status for all former US Tesla employees who were laid off in May or June without advance notice.
UK risks being a tech ‘rule-taker’ from Brussels, expert warns
Britain risks being a ‘rule-taker’ from Brussels as it attempts to “rein in” tech giants due to the stalled rollout of the UK’s digital regulator, the head of the competition watchdog has warned. The Digital Markets Unit was launched over a year ago and was set to lead in tackling the dominance of online firms. Yet legislation was only announced in draft form in the Queen’s Speech last month, meaning it is likely to remain hollow until at least 2023.
It is understood the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is aiming to publish the Bill this autumn, but it will need to go through Parliament later. Andrea Coscelli, outgoing chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, within which the DMU is set up, said tech firms were already investing to adapt to the new laws set by Brussels, however if it does not “then in practice we become a rule-taker because of the cost of divergence”.
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