Big Tech Compliance Tracker: UK Launches Digital Markets Unit; Apple To Pay $3.4 Million Over Purported iPhone Slowdowns

Big Tech Compliance Tracker: UK Launches Digital Markets Unit; Apple To Pay $3.4 Million Over Purported iPhone Slowdowns

Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny from governments and consumers.

UK Debuts New Digital Markets Unit

The United Kingdom has rolled out what it refers to as a “tough new regulator” to make sure companies such as Facebook and Google can’t stifle rivals and innovations by harnessing their outsized place in the market. The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will be based in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

“Online platforms bring huge benefits for businesses and society. They make work easier and quicker and help people stay in touch,” according to a U.K. government release. “But there is a consensus that the concentration of power among a small number of firms is curtailing growth and having negative impacts on consumers and businesses which rely on them.”

Apple To Pay $3.4 Million In Chile Over Purported iPhone Slowdowns  

To settle a suit that claimed Apple embedded a limited lifespan into some of its items to make people upgrade, the tech company will provide $3.4 million in compensation in Chile, MacRumors reported.

One-hundred and fifty thousand owners of various iPhone models sued Apple regarding the so-called iPhone Slowdown problem that tech company has been fighting as of 2017. Those who are registered participants in Chile can receive as much as $50.

Vietnam Proposes Rules For Tech Tax, Data Access

To bolster regulation in one of the quickest growing digital markets worldwide, Vietnam has put forward two potential regulations that would make international tech firms like Google and Alibaba pay greater taxes and hand over more data, Nikkei Asia reported.

One proposal would “introduce a tax collection regime” in the words of Nikkei Asia, while the other would provide government officials with access to an online shopping site’s internal information regarding merchants.

Tech Mahindra CEO: Big Tech Regulation Necessitates Balancing Act

The CEO of a software service provider believes that tech regulation can’t be put into place “too soon” or “too late”, CNBC reported.

“The need for tech governance only comes in when you have a problem or when you anticipate a problem,” Tech Mahindra CEO C. P. Gurnani told CNBC. “You do it too soon you stifle it (innovation). You’re doing it too late, you allow the misuse to happen.”

He said that “governance too soon means bad for innovations, bad for (research and development) and bad for that early initiative guy who creates.”

The news comes as American Big Tech firms such as Facebook and Google are encountering rising scrutiny from watchdogs in the U.S., among other places.

Apple, Epic Games Unveil Arguments Before Antitrust Trial In Legal Filings

Epic Games and Apple revealed their arguments in a dispute over the latter company’s control over the App Store ahead of an antitrust trial scheduled to start in May via their own separate legal filings.

Apple will argue, among other contentions, that its 30 percent fee essentially matches that of digital stores like Google Play or shops for video game hardware, while its commission has dropped over time.

Epic will argue that Apple controls the lone conduit to install software on an iPhone via the App Store, among other contentions.