WhatsApp Takes On Google, Alibaba In India’s Phone Payment Battle

WhatsApp on Friday entered an increasingly tense battle between multinational giants such as Google and Alibaba for a chunk of India’s fast growing digital payments market.

The Facebook-owned firm said it was launching Whatsapp Pay just hours after it was given permission by the country’s payments regulator. India is the messenger firm’s biggest market with some 400 million users.

Whatsapp Pay — which allows people to send and receive money through the messaging platform –was launched in Brazil in June but was quickly suspended because of competition objections raised by the central bank. Authorities have since indicated that it will be allowed there.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said in a video statement accompanying the India launch that the move would boost “innovation” in payments.

Zuckerberg also hailed India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) which is used in the country of 1.3 billion people to manage payment apps, with more than 140

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‘Apex Legends’ tweaks season seven battle pass after players complain

Under the old system, a lot of your progress came by stacking up XP points with kills, time survived, revives and other in-game actions that contributed directly to your battle pass level. A new “simplified” approach got rid of that, opting for a set of stars that players must unlock to move from one level to the next, and while XP is a part of that, it’s not enough to move the bar by itself.

Once season seven started, players complained that even playing the game for several hours a day wasn’t enough to progress noticeably. The amount of play that used to net five or even ten levels of progress is now only worth two or three at most. Additionally, challenges like placing in the top five in five ranked games or respawning 60 teammates could be tough to unlock, and only rewarded about half of a level.

In

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VoIP-Pal wins federal appeal in ongoing patent battle with Apple

VoIP-Pal on Tuesday won an appeal in the Federal Circuit in its ongoing patent litigation against Apple, meaning that the case will return to the lower courts.

The patent holder initially filed several lawsuits against Apple dating back to 2018 alleging that several of the tech giant’s platforms, such as FaceTime and iMessage, violated its intellectual property. In this specific case, which was dismissed by a California District Court in late 2019, VoIP-Pal alleged infringement of four patents related to voice over IP protocols.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed VoIP-Pal’s appeal of the 2019 ruling. Although oral arguments in that case were scheduled for Nov. 3, they were canceled.

In its appeal, VoIP-Pal argued that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California erroneously determined that its patent claims were ineligible and dismissed its patent lawsuit in error. The court had

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Uber drivers lose California court battle over Proposition 22 messages

Oct. 29 (UPI) — California Uber drivers have lost their lawsuit alleging the company violated their rights by bombarding them with Proposition 22 messages ahead of Tuesday’s election.

California Proposition 22 is on the Nov. 3 ballot and would exempt app-based ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft from having to classify their workers as employees.

Superior Court of San Francisco Judge Richard Ulmer ruled late Wednesday against drivers’ request for a temporary restraining order blocking Uber from sending messages drivers claim were “pressuring” them to support Proposition 22. Along with seeking the injunction, the drivers also sought $260 million in penalties, alleging the company violated workers rights by sending workers “constant barrage” of messages in the app urging them to support the ballot measure, which the company supports.

Uber is “illegally exploiting its economic power over its California-based drivers by pressuring them to support the Yes on 22 campaign,” the

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What went down in markets during Bush-Gore battle

The last time there was a contested presidential election, the S&P 500 and technology stocks tanked. Can it happen again? 

Many Americans are wondering how long it will take for the winner of the presidential election to be declared. Fears about a contested election and battles over ballots that could end up in courts, as well as a president who has not said he will accept the results, could unnerve investors. That may be especially true with stocks near all-time highs in spite of so many existing headwinds, including a pandemic and massive job losses and uncertain progress on vaccines and more federal stimulus. And the top tech stocks in the S&P 500 representing as much as 20% to 25% of the index in this bull market.

There’s not much recent precedent to understand what a prolonged fight over the U.S. presidency could mean for stocks, but there is at

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U.S. antitrust case against Google mirrors Microsoft battle

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s legal assault on Google actually feels like a blast from the past.

The U.S. Justice Department filed an equally high-profile case against a technology giant in 1998, accusing it of leveraging a monopoly position to lock customers into its products so they wouldn’t be tempted by potentially superior options from smaller rivals.

That game-changing case, of course, targeted Microsoft and its personal computer software empire — right around the same time that two ambitious entrepreneurs, both strident Microsoft critics, were starting up their own company with a funny name: Google.

Now things have come full circle with a lawsuit that deliberately echoes the U.S.-Microsoft showdown that unfolded under the administrations of President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.

“Back then, Google claimed Microsoft’s practices were anticompetitive, and yet, now, Google deploys the same playbook to sustain its own monopolies,” the Justice Department wrote in

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Q&A: Google, U.S. Government Prepare for Battle Over Market Power | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google kicks off what is expected to be a long legal battle over whether the online search and advertising company uses its outsized market power unfairly.

Here are some answers to key questions about the case:

WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST GOOGLE?

The Justice Department alleges that Google broke antitrust law to maintain its monopoly in search, where it has about 90 percent of the U.S. market, and two kinds of advertising – search advertising and general search text advertising.

As evidence, the department points to billions of dollars that Google pays to smartphone makers such as Apple, Samsung and others to make Google’s search engine the default on their devices. As a result, the government argued, smaller search engines never get the scale they need to improve their algorithms, and grow.

WHAT REMEDIES DID THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REQUEST

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iPhone 12 deals highlight a renewed battle between wireless carriers

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5G, touted Tuesday on the screen of Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater, is the biggest new feature in the iPhone 12 lineup.


Apple

This week’s arrival of the iPhone 12’s, which features 5G as its marquee addition, brought to the forefront the US carriers that have been rapidly building out these next-generation wireless networks. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg shared the stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook during the launch, while competitors T-Mobile and AT&T didn’t even warrant a mention. That rivalry is going to heat up as these carriers start rolling out deals and touting their 5G coverage in a radical new wireless world. 

Which could be good for you.

Apple is going all-in on 5G as a selling point for its four new iPhones, to the extent where super-cuts of all the

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