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Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed

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  • A US judge in California ruled Friday that Apple could bar Epic Games’s “Fortnite” game from its App Store, but the tech company must not harm Epic’s developer tools business.
  • “The Court maintains its findings from the temporary restraining order and hereby grants in part and denies in part Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled.
  • Last month, Epic Games had filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account after Apple terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store.
  • Epic sued Apple in August alleging anticompetitive behavior. The lawsuit came after Epic rolled out its own payment system in the popular Fortnite video game.
  • Apple does not allow such alternative payment systems and removed Fortnite from the App Store and threatened to terminate Epic’s developer accounts, which would have affected Epic’s other
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SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge ruled Friday that Apple did not need to reinstate the popular video game Fortnite in its App Store, in a blow to Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, which is locked in an antitrust battle with the tech giant over its app store fees and rules.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California said in her ruling that Apple’s ban of the game could continue because Epic had violated its contract with Apple. There is “significant public interest” in requiring companies to adhere to contracts or resolve disputes through the normal course, she wrote.

But Gonzales Rogers also said that Apple could not ban Unreal Engine, Epic’s developer tools, from its platforms because of the “potential significant damage to both developers and gamers” who rely on the software.

The mixed ruling showed the high cost of taking on a tech behemoth like

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VIENNA (Reuters) – India and South Africa want the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive intellectual property rules to make it easier for developing countries to produce or import COVID-19 drugs, a letter https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/IP/C/W669.pdf&Open=True to the WTO shows.

In their letter dated Oct. 2 the two countries called on the global trade body to waive parts of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which governs patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property rules globally.

“As new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19 are developed, there are significant concerns (over) how these will be made available promptly, in sufficient quantities and at (an) affordable price to meet global demand,” the letter posted on the Geneva-based WTO’s website says.

The two countries said that developing nations are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that intellectual property rights, including patents, could be a barrier to the provision of affordable

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Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Google changes its app store rules, too

Google Play Store screen
Google Play Store screen

Google Play Store screen

Just a couple of weeks ago, Apple revised its App Store rules to permit game streaming

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it will take up a long-running legal dispute over whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can loosen U.S. media ownership rules.

A lower court has thwarted the FCC’s efforts to revise the rules since 2003 in a series of decisions.

In 2017, the Republican-led FCC voted to eliminate a ban in place since 1975 on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV stations in the same market, for local stations to jointly sell advertising time and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets.

The FCC said in 2003 “that the ownership rules should be substantially overhauled because they inhibit beneficial combinations between struggling traditional outlets and no longer reflect current market realities.”

The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S.

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Sept. 28 (UPI) — A London judge on Monday ruled that ride-share giant Uber can operate in the city, following months of legal gridlock.

London transportation officials had suspended Uber’s license to operate over fears that troubles with the company’s app compromised riders’ information.

In his ruling Monday, Deputy Chief Magistrate Tanweer Ikram determined that Uber was “fit and proper” to hold a London private hire vehicle operator’s license, finding that Uber has made fixes to the app.

The ruling allows Uber to continue operating in London. For nearly two months, the company has been allowed to continue operating in the city during the appeals process.

Transport for London had argued that a glitch in the app allowed unauthorized drivers to access driver accounts and illegally pick up passengers.

The transportation authority flagged Uber last November and denied a license for a second time.

Uber argued that it fixed the

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Bloomberg reports that Google will reemphasize its in-app purchase policy with developers who list their apps on the Play Store. Google currently mandates that all services with in-app purchases use the Google Play Store’s billing services, a process which allows Google to keep about 30% of the revenue.

Google’s policy has been the same for years, but the company will reinforce it, as many developers are not following Google’s requirements. The reinforcement is not a welcome sign to developers, who are also fighting against Apple’s recent reinforcement of in-app purchasing rules.

A group of popular smartphone app publishers, including Spotify, Epic Games and Basecamp, have announced the creation of the “Coalition for App Fairness,” which hopes to more fair arrangements between app stores and

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