Amazon is following in the footsteps of app store giants Apple and Google with this week’s introduction of its Amazon Appstore Small Business Accelerator Program. The new program will reduce the commissions Amazon takes on app developer revenues for qualifying smaller businesses. Previously, Amazon’s Appstore took a 30% cut of revenue, including that from in-app […]

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Twine, a video chat startup that launched amid the pandemic as a sort of “Zoom for meeting new people,” shifted its focus to online events and, as a result, has now closed on $3.3 million in seed funding. To date, twine’s events customers have included names like Microsoft, Amazon, Forrester and others, and the service […]

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Amazon admits it has a fake review problem, but does its best to spread the blame around in a new post detailing the issue. After numerous reports for years that the online retail giant is overrun with knock-off products and faked or farmed reviews, the company aims to look as if it is finally putting […]

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New York-based IAB Tech Labs, a standards body for the digital advertising industry, is being taken to court in Germany by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in a piece of privacy litigation that’s targeted at the high-speed online ad auction process known as real-time bidding (RTB). While that may sound pretty obscure, the […]

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The U.K.’s competition watchdog will take a deep dive look into Apple and Google’s dominance of the mobile ecosystem, it said today — announcing a market study which will examine the pair’s respective smartphone platforms (iOS and Android); their app stores (App Store and Play Store); and web browsers (Safari and Chrome).  The Competition and […]

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The Supreme Court has given LinkedIn another chance to stop a rival company from scraping personal information from users’ public profiles, a practice LinkedIn says should be illegal but one that could have broad ramifications for internet researchers and archivists. LinkedIn lost its case against Hiq Labs in 2019 after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court […]

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Microsoft will soon launch a dedicated device for game streaming, the company announced today. It’s also working with a number of TV manufacturers to build the Xbox experience right into their internet-connected screens and Microsoft plans to bring cloud gaming to the PC Xbox app later this year, too, with a focus on play-before-you-buy scenarios. […]

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The European Union has been digging into the competition implications of AI-powered voice assistants and other Internet of Things (IoT) connected technologies for almost a year. Today it’s put out a first report discussing potential concerns that EU lawmakers say will help inform their wider digital policymaking in the coming years. A major piece of […]

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Ring gets a lot of criticism, not just for its massive surveillance network of home video doorbells and its problematic privacy and security practices, but also for giving that doorbell footage to law enforcement. While Ring is making moves toward transparency, the company refuses to disclose how many users had their data given to police. […]

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You […]

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Jeff Bezos is going to be one of the passengers on his spaceflight company Blue Origin’s first-ever human space launch on July 20. The Amazon founder announced the news via his Instagram on Monday morning, revealing that his brother Mark will also be coming along for the ride. Bezos and his brother will join the […]

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As Tesla sales have risen, interest in the company has exploded, prompting investment and interest in the automotive industry, as well as the startup world. TezLab, a free app that’s like a Fitbit for a Tesla vehicle, is just one example of the numerous startups that have sprung up in the past few years as […]

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Facebook is facing a fresh pair of antitrust probes in Europe. The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the EU’s Competition Commission both announced formal investigations into the social media giant’s operations today — with what’s likely to have been coordinated timing. The competition regulators will scrutinize how Facebook uses data from advertising customers […]

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Almost exactly a year ago, Google announced a couple of leadership changes that saw Prabhakar Raghavan, who joined the company back in 2012, take over the lead of Search, Assistant and Maps. Now, sources familiar with the hiring tell us, the company has hired Christopher Phillips, who was previously the chief product and technology officer […]

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Amazon in a brief blog post announced it will no longer include marijuana on its drug screening program. In short, the company is now treating weed like alcohol, which means off-work employees can partake in a beer or a spliff without fear of repercussions. Of course, just like with alcohol, Amazon says it will continue […]

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Amazon confirmed its annual sales event known as Prime Day will be held on Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22. Bloomberg had previously reported these same dates, citing leaked records. The once-a-year mega sale had typically been held in July, when the shopping season goes through its usual lull. But due to the COVID-19 […]

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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a lot in the world, and supply chains are no exception.  A number of applications that aim to solve workflow challenges across the supply chain exist. But getting real-time access to information from transportation providers has remained somewhat elusive for shippers and logistics companies alike.  Enter project44. The seven-year-old Chicago-based company […]

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week had the whole crew aboard to record: Grace and Chris making us sound good, Danny to provide levity, Natasha to actually recall facts and Alex to divert us from staying on topic. It’s teamwork, people — […]

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Amazon, in its ever-growing desire to become a super app in India, is testing a new category to persuade users to spend more time on the shopping service: Feature articles. The American e-commerce giant has quietly launched “Featured Articles” on its shopping app and website in India that showcases feature articles, commentary and analysis on […]

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On-demand grocery startups like Gorillas are invading Europe right now, but although on-demand-everything is kinda old-hat in the Bay Area, a new startup thinks it might just be able to do something new. Food Rocket says it has raised a $2 million investment round from AltaIR Capital, Baring Vostok fund, and the AngelsDeck group of […]

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Europe’s lead data protection regulator has opened two investigations into EU institutions’ use of cloud services from U.S. cloud giants, Amazon and Microsoft, under so called Cloud II contracts inked earlier between European bodies, institutions and agencies and AWS and Microsoft. A separate investigation has also been opened into the European Commission’s use of Microsoft […]

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The big media consolidation continues — days after rumors swirled around Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, the online massive retailer confirmed today that it will be acquiring the nearly 100-year-old studio for a cool $8.45 billion. The deal is another big step to bolster Amazon’s fight in the streaming wars, adding some 4,000 films. The list […]

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The high-stakes game of chess (or, well, consolidation chicken) that is on-demand food delivery rolls on today with a little more territorial swapping in Europe: Barcelona-based Glovo has agreed to buy three of Berlin-based Delivery Hero’s food delivery brands in Central and Eastern Europe — with deals that it said are worth a total value […]

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Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced a new antitrust suit against Amazon Tuesday, accusing the company of stifling competition by exerting control over third-party sellers. The lawsuit, filed in DC Superior Court, alleges that Amazon fixed prices on its massive online retail platform by blocking third-party sellers from selling their products for less elsewhere. […]

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Long before SoftBank launched its $2 billion Innovation Fund in Latin America, and before Andreessen Horowitz began actively investing in the region, São Paulo-based Kaszek has been putting money into promising startups, helping spawn nine unicorns along the way. And now, the early-stage VC firm is announcing its largest fund closures to date: Kaszek Ventures […]

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The direct-to-consumer wave is a critical enabler for the e-commerce progress we expect to see over the next decade as we strive toward inevitable 50% penetration.

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It doesn’t feel like a week goes by at the moment that another startup doesn’t emerge armed with a huge wallet of cash to pursue a strategy of consolidating and then scaling promising brands that have built a business selling on marketplaces like Amazon’s. In the latest development, a startup called Factory14 is coming out […]

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Electric aviation startup Beta Technologies closed a $368 million Series A funding round on Tuesday, with investments from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. The new capital is the second round of funding announced by the company this year, after the company raised $143 million in private capital in March. The funding round was led by Fidelity […]

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Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is seeking to make swift use of a new competition tool to target Big Tech — announcing today that it’s opened a proceeding against e-commerce giant Amazon. If the FCO confirms that Amazon is of “paramount significance for competition across markets” — as defined by an amendment to the German […]

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Shein‘s quiet rise has reached a crescendo as the fast fashion e-commerce app takes the crown from Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app on iOS and Android in the United States, according to data from app tracking firm App Annie. Its ascent is quiet because the startup, despite reportedly exceeding a $15 billion valuation, maintains […]

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