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Mom! The Tech Companies are Fighting Again!
Thursday, June 22nd, 2023
1. Bumble's New App For When Your Old Friends Just Aren't Cutting It Anymore
Bumble, the dating app that's all about empowering women, is now testing a separate BFF app in select markets and claims that it will release this app in the U.S. this year. It's no secret that Bumble is trying to expand its reach beyond the dating market so now they're trying to find us friends too. The App Store description of the new app reads, "With Bumble For Friends, you can chat, meet new people, and make friends in a community focused on kindness and safety. Whether you're new to your area or just looking to expand your circle, Bumble For Friends is the easiest way to make new friends and find community." It's free to use, but also has in-app purchases like boosts for better profile visibility and super swipes to get noticed by a particular person. Adult kickball leagues and dive bar trivia nights better watch out - Bumble's new friend-making machine is coming!
2. Twitter's Broken Promises
Twitter has failed to pay millions in worker bonuses, according to a lawsuit. Mark Schobinger, who was Twitter's senior director of compensation, claims that before and after Elon Musk's acquisition, the company promised employees that they would receive 50% of their target bonuses for 2022. But those payments never materialized, according to the lawsuit, which accuses Twitter of breach of contract. Twitter's response to the lawsuit was a poop emoji as this is just another lawsuit in a pile of court cases filed since Elon Musk acquired Twitter. Many landlords, vendors, and consultants have also sued Twitter over unpaid bills, which Elon Musk inherited when he bought the company. Twitter is also being sued in Delaware by three former executives who say it reneged on obligations to reimburse legal fees. It seems like Twitter is in a legal pickle, and Elon Musk is just sitting back and watching the chaos unfold.
Sit back and let us do the work to keep you informed on the tech industry.
3. Amazon's Prime Membership Scheme: A Dark Pattern of Deception
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has accused Amazon of duping millions of consumers into signing up for Prime without their consent. The FTC has sued Amazon in federal court, claiming that the company has used manipulative, coercive, or deceptive user-interface designs known as "dark patterns" to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically renewing subscriptions. The lawsuit is one of several actions taken by the Joe Biden administration to rein in the outsized market power of Big Tech firms as it tries to increase competition to protect consumers. The FTC says that Amazon Prime is the world's largest subscription program, generating $25 billion in revenue annually so, love it or hate it, Amazon Prime is (most likely) here to stay.
4. Rivian Acquires Route Planning App Maker Iternio
Rivian, the electric vehicle company that's all about the pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, has acquired Swedish E.V. route planning app maker Iternio. Rivian's CEO, RJ Scaringe, didn't disclose the value of the deal, but he did say it was closed in the first quarter. Rivian is going to invest in improving and growing ABRP as a stand-alone app for users of other E.V.s and integrate Iternio's technology into its mobile app and in-vehicle navigation system. Rivian's CEO, RJ Scaringe, says data on locations that lack chargers or have chargers with poor performance will be particularly beneficial as the company seeks to expand its charging network.
5. Google and Amazon's Cloud Complaints
Google and other tech giants have complained to the Federal Trade Commission about unfair cloud practices. The companies claim that Microsoft and Oracle are using anticompetitive practices to entrench their positions with Google even going so far as to say that Microsoft's licensing agreements discourage rival cloud usage. It's still too early to tell how this will play out, but it's quite something seeing these big bad tech companies whine, complain and point fingers at one another like 3rd graders fighting over a swingset on the playground. It's really all about the cloud, baby!