Yet no digital right
While these issues are important, we are in desperate need of some basic digital rights.
Simply put if I get hit by a bus my next of kin have no rights to thousands of pounds of software, music and video.
The Competition and Markets Authority is to assemble a dedicated team to handle the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence and big data in business. The move is intended to improve the CMA's capability to collect and study data, analyse how companies use data and algorithms, and the implications for consumers and …
if I get hit by a bus my next of kin have no rights to thousands of pounds of software, music and video
Devil's Advocate: Depending upon the licence agreement to which you clicked "I agree", they may not have any such rights. And if you've willingly accepted a service on those terms, essentially as a personal service to you, why should the provider then have to give that service to somebody else when you've kicked the bucket?
Not because of this, but for the other more prosaic reasons of digital ephemerality, I buy CD or DVD versions.
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The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday said it intends to launch an investigation of Apple's and Google's market power with respect to mobile browsers and cloud gaming, and to take enforcement action against Google for its app store payment practices.
"When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards," said Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice."
The decision to open a formal investigation follows the CMA's year-long study of the mobile ecosystem. The competition watchdog's findings have been published in a report that concludes Apple and Google have a duopoly that limits competition.
A UK tribunal has agreed that a Collective Proceedings Order (CPO) potentially involving 19.6 million consumers in the country can go ahead in a case that could cost Apple up to £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion).
A CPO is a group litigation order roughly akin to a class-action procedure in the US.
At issue are Apple's App Store restrictions, which the vendor says are necessary for safety and quality control purposes but which the filing alleges are anticompetitive.
Judges in the UK have dismissed the majority of an appeal made by Facebook parent Meta to overturn a watchdog's decision to order the social media giant to sell Giphy for antitrust reasons.
Facebook acquired GIF-sharing biz Giphy in May 2020. But Blighty's Competition Markets Authority (CMA) wasn't happy with the $400 million deal, arguing it gave Mark Zuckerberg's empire way too much control over the distribution of a lot of GIFs. After the CMA launched an official probe investigating the acquisition last June, it ordered Meta to sell Giphy to prevent Facebook from potentially monopolizing access to the animated images.
Meta appealed the decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), arguing six grounds. All but one of them – known as Ground 4 – were dismissed by the tribunal's judges this week. And even then only one part of Ground 4 was upheld: the second element.
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is lining up yet another investigation into Google over its dominance of the digital advertising market.
This latest inquiry, announced Thursday, is the second major UK antitrust investigation into Google this year alone. In March this year the UK, together with the European Union, said it wished to examine Google's "Jedi Blue" agreement with Meta to allegedly favor the former's Open Bidding ads platform.
The news also follows proposals last week by a bipartisan group of US lawmakers to create legislation that could force Alphabet's Google, Meta's Facebook, and Amazon to divest portions of their ad businesses.
As Google's self-imposed "late 2023" deadline to kill all third party cookies in its Chrome browser looms, the giant has handed in its first quarterly Privacy Sandbox report to the UK's competition regulator.
As a reminder, the Competition Market's Authority (CMA) took exception to Google's Privacy Sandbox cookie cull amid worries on several fronts that the project might shut out competing ad companies in favor of the search giant.
Against a backdrop of added scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the US, Europe, and the UK at a time when Google faces broad antitrust scrutiny and litigation, the search giant made a number of commitments to the UK's CMA, one of which was a regular report on progress with its Privacy Sandbox proposals.
UK watchdogs under the banner of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) have called for views on the benefits and risks of how sites and apps use algorithms.
While "algorithm" can be defined as a strict set of rules to be followed by a computer in calculations, the term has become a boogeyman as lawmakers grapple with the revelation that they are involved in every digital service we use today.
Whether that's which video to watch next on YouTube, which film you might enjoy on Netflix, who turns up in your Twitter feed, search autosuggestions, and what you might like to buy on Amazon – the algorithm governs them all and much more.
Britain's competition watchdog is probing the largest local provider of school management information systems to ascertain if it is abusing its market dominance to force customers to sign three-year agreements.
Education Software Solutions told schools in November that it was ending the option of a one-year contract for MIS and was instead creating a minimum three-year deal for the previous SIMS Annual Entitlement Plan.
Some schools responded negatively and saw the revision as an attempt to lock them into longer-term deals. The Department for Education advised all schools to "pause" before signing new agreements as it investigated the revision but reportedly changed policy in December, telling them to buy as normal.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) merger inquiry into NortonLifeLock's proposed $8bn acquisition of rival antivirus provider Avast has now closed, with the regulator concluding that a tie-up could indeed reduce competition in the marketplace.
"Advanced discussions" concerning a merger of the two security vendors first surfaced in July 2021, when NortonLifeLock investors were told that a combination with Avast "would bring together two companies with aligned visions, highly complementary business profiles and a joint commitment to innovation that helps protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely."
By August, a deal had been agreed where NortonLifeLock would acquire all Avast shares for $8bn followed by the combined companies listing on NASDAQ.
Microsoft's attempts to have a 2021 lawsuit's claims regarding anti-competitive practices struck out were this week contested in UK courts.
During the hearing on March 30-31, counsel for ValueLicensing requested Microsoft's applications be dismissed. While the software giant appeared to accept that there were issues around competition law to be tried against its US and Ireland operations, its lawyers reckoned there weren't reasonable grounds for a claim against its UK tentacle.
According to legal website Law360, Microsoft's lawyers said in court that its UK tentacle just marketed the licenses and "nothing else."
The European Union is to launch a legislative process that is set to enforce greater competition among the leading digital platform providers.
The lawmakers plan to rein in the dominance of big tech firms with a set of measures aimed at "gatekeeper" powers related to the services and platforms they provide.
Hotly tipped for inclusion is the power to insist large tech companies give smartphone users the ability to select their own email application and search engine. Consumers are also promised the right to uninstall applications they don't want while messaging providers such as WhatsApp, owned by Facebook parent company Meta, will be asked to ensure they have the ability to send messages to users of an entirely different messaging platform.
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