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Apple’s Big Spending Plan to Challenge Netflix Takes Shape

Apple is coming to Hollywood.Delete that.Hollywood is going to Apple.On March 25, a delegation of producers, studio executives and big-name actors will enter the subterranean 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., for one of those Apple showcases, with the chief executive, Tim Cook, commanding the stage before a crowd of loyalists.This time around, the focus won’t be on the next must-have device. With iPhone sales showing signs of fatigue, the event is intended to draw attention to the company’s billion-dollar-plus bet on entertainment, an initiative that will put Apple in direct competition with Netflix, Amazon and HBO.The premiere date for the service is getting closer, with…

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Why a Big Tech Breakup Looks Better to Washington

SAN FRANCISCO — A decade ago, when the greed and carelessness of the financial industry came close to destroying the American economy, the overwhelming response by politicians and the public was: Meh. Almost instantly, all was forgiven and forgotten.Now the tech industry — which, among other impressive innovations, provides the world’s knowledge on demand, lets people freely broadcast their diverse opinions and has made shopping as easy as pushing a button — has made some mistakes of its own. It has abused privacy, squeezed the competition and casually spread hate. And that’s just the beginning of the list.Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple might not get away as…

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Apple Violated 3 Qualcomm Patents, Jury Finds

Qualcomm won a legal victory against Apple on Friday when a federal jury in San Diego found that Apple owed the mobile phone chip supplier about $31 million for infringing on three of its patents.Qualcomm sued Apple last year, accusing it of violating patents related to improving mobile phones’ battery life.During an eight-day trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Qualcomm asked the jury to award it unpaid patent royalties of up to $1.41 per iPhone that violated the patents.“The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful…

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Facebook’s Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation

Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with some of the world’s largest technology companies, intensifying scrutiny of the social media giant’s business practices as it seeks to rebound from a year of scandal and setbacks.A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters. Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.The companies were among more than…

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The Shift: A Better Way to Break Up Big Tech

AUSTIN, Tex. — Among the techies who attended the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference the past few days, the hottest topic of conversation — besides the swarms of drunken idiots careening around Austin on rented electric scooters — was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s ground-shaking proposal to break up large tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook.In her proposal, which she released on the eve of the conference, Ms. Warren argued that these companies have abused their power and harmed competition in two big ways.The first is by offering their own products on platforms they control: Amazon giving preferential treatment to its house brands, or Apple promoting its…

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Spotify Accuses Apple of Anticompetitive Practices in Europe

LONDON — Apple’s powerful role as gatekeeper of the App Store has long frustrated the makers of apps who must abide by its rules or risk losing access to hundreds of millions of customers who own Apple devices.Now one of Apple’s biggest rivals, the music streaming service Spotify, says Apple is abusing its position and violating European antitrust laws.In an aggressive attempt to undercut Apple’s power, Spotify said on Wednesday that it had filed a complaint with European regulators, accusing Apple of using its App Store to squash companies that compete with its services, including Apple Music.Spotify’s complaint comes at perilous moment for the world’s biggest tech…

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Are You an Amazon or an Apple Family?

A few months ago, Amazon invited reporters to its Spheres complex in downtown Seattle. It’s an enormous greenhouse doubling as a work space for employees: a climate-controlled, glass-enclosed, self-contained ecosystem made up of 40,000 species of plants from all over the world. Amazon executives opened the event with a statement worthy of their surroundings: The company had 70 products, services and tools to introduce. Seventy new products? The journalists in the room responded with gasps and laughter.There were new devices like the Echo subwoofer and a tiny gadget to bring Alexa into your car. A smart plug that automatically connects to Wi-Fi and will make any smart…

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Elizabeth Warren Proposes Breaking Up Tech Giants Like Amazon and Facebook

Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is bidding to be the policy pacesetter in the Democratic presidential primary, announced another expansive idea on Friday: a regulatory plan aimed at breaking up some of America’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook.The proposal — which comes on the same day Ms. Warren will hold a rally in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood that was to be home to a major new Amazon campus — calls for the appointment of regulators who would “unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition,” as well as legislation that would prohibit platforms from both offering a marketplace for commerce and…

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Former Senior Apple Lawyer Charged With Insider Trading

SAN FRANCISCO — A former senior lawyer at Apple who oversaw the company’s insider trading policies was himself accused of insider trading by federal prosecutors and securities regulators in complaints made public on Wednesday.The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a suit that Gene Levoff, a former senior director of corporate law and a corporate secretary at Apple, repeatedly traded on inside information from 2011 to 2016.The S.E.C. said Mr. Levoff violated insider trading laws three times from 2015 to 2016. On one occasion, Mr. Levoff sold roughly $10 million of Apple stock — nearly his entire holdings — from his personal brokerage account four days before…

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Bits: The Week in Tech: Business Is Booming Despite Backlash

Each week, technology reporters and columnists from The New York Times review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the tech industry. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.Hello, friends. I’m Kate Conger, a tech reporter in The Times’s San Francisco bureau. It has been another earnings news week, which means we’re learning exactly how much money the local tech companies earned in 2018.The news might not surprise you: Everyone in Silicon Valley is still raking in cash. Apple is the country’s most valuable public company again, after briefly losing the title to Amazon. Facebook…

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