Weekly Brief: All’s fair in love and war… but not marketplaces

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It’s probably not a pleasant job to be in a “Big Tech” PR department at the moment, especially if you’re based here in Europe.

Breaking news today that Google has received another hefty fine from the EU, this time for antitrust violations in the online advertising market (i.e. restricting a level playing field for its competition, or “not playing fair”). Apple meanwhile is in quite a heated and public debate with Spotify (and others) about how the App Store marketplace is also unfair to its users and competitors (and guess what, more complaints have been filed to the EU). It’s not exactly a new concept, but Apple taking a ~30% cut on all payments seems to be really ruffling some feathers at the moment. And speaking of “far from new” grumbles about markets, there’s a ton of great pieces about what Amazon’s allegedly up to behind the scenes…

There’s definitely grey areas and arguments on both sides about what’s fair and what isn’t in these marketplaces, and we don’t think it’s clear cut on how to govern this. But the can’s definitely been opened – watch out for worms and have a read of some key arguments below!

Spotify’s “Timeline of Apple Unfairness”
Pretty cool infographic detailing, according to Spotify, how “Apple’s behavior isn’t new. In fact, there are countless times over the years that demonstrate that they don’t play fair.”

…and Apple’s response 
Get the Michael Jackson-eating-popcorn meme out, Apple has released a statement in return

A $1.7bn fine for Google from the EU 
Google’s third big fine in as many years – what you need to know

Prime and Punishment 
An oldie but an interesting goodie – some stories from both sides of those trying to do business on Amazon

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