Google Allows Some Apps to Use Their Own Payment Systems in Effort to Quell Antitrust Furor

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

Under growing antitrust scrutiny, Google announced on Wednesday that it would let some apps “offer their own billing system within the Google Play store as part of a pilot program.” That move, affecting Spotify, among others, comes as Google and Apple “face complaints from regulators and developers that they are abusing their dominance in mobile software to force companies to use their proprietary billing methods” - NYTimes and WSJ and TechCrunch

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pushed pack on recent buzz in Europe suggesting that the bloc boycott all Russian oil and gas, conceding that his country had “grown dependent on Russia for its energy” and predicting “severe economic and social consequences”—including the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs—if the EU moved forward with that dramatic step - NYTimes

Still, the (mostly) global effort to cut ties with Russia is having an impact on the country, even in its powerful energy sector - WSJ

Amazon workers in the NYC area are set to start voting in the coming weeks as part of an effort “to become the first group of Amazon employees to unionize in the U.S.” They’re doing so, however, “without the backing of a major labor union, an uncommon tactic, but one that organizers believe will win support from workers” - WSJ and NYTimes

The great bond selloff of 2022 has largely continued apace this week, even as Treasuries “staged a small recovery” on Wednesday from “unprecedented losses ahead of tighter monetary policy to curb inflation” - Bloomberg

Checking in on MacKenzie Scott’s progress on her 2019 promise “to give away her entire fortune.” In short, she’s been doing a bang-up job. By latest estimates of her “publicly announced gifts since 2020,” Scott has doled out “over $12 billion to nonprofits,” including nearly $4 billion to 465 nonprofits in just the past 9 months - NYTimes and Bloomberg and WSJ

Shareholders of the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp. have “rejected a management plan to split the company into two parts, reflecting strong opposition from foreign shareholders including some who want the company to be auctioned to the highest bidder,” highlighting a rift between company management and foreign investors that’s been growing for years - WSJ

More trade news today, with the Biden Administration easing tariffs imposed by its predecessors on some products imported from China, including those “that could not be obtained elsewhere” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Groups of Disney workers at company theme parks and some offices walked off the job this week in an effort to protest “what they described as the company’s continued failure to support LGBT employees” following CEO Bob Chapek’s belated public stance on a controversial education bill in Florida, “which many employees said targeted the LGBT community” - WSJ

Chrysler & Jeep parent Stellantis will join with LG Energy Solution to invest $4.1 billion in a new EV battery plant in Windsor, Ontario in an effort to “provide the critical components for a range of electric Jeeps and other trucks the automaker aims to introduce over the next several years” - NYTimes

Fascinating piece from the New Yorker on the emergence of the Montessori model (and how they lost their way) - NewYorker

Stay safe,

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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