EU Fines Google $1.7 Billion; Apple’s New AirPods Drop; Amazon-New Entry-Level Kindle; Waymo Expands in ArizonaPosted: March 20, 2019
The EU has fined Google $1.69 billion over what they term ‘abusive practices in online advertising.’ This is in addition to the $5 billion and $2.4 billion fines from 2018 and 2017, respectively. Engadget.com reports that the EU competition commissioner says Google has ‘shielded itself from competitive pressure’ by imposing exclusive contractual arrangements on advertiser over a 10 year period. The commission points out that ‘market dominance is, as such, not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However, dominant companies have a special responsibility not to abuse their powerful position by restricting competition, either in the market where they are dominant, or in separate markets.’ Google hasn’t commented, but is likely to appeal.
Apple has rolled out its new AirPods, and they are available now. According to thenextweb.com, the wireless earbuds sport the H1 chip, which gives faster connections and increases talk time by an hour. The upgraded version also features Hey Siri. The case has wireless charging using the Qi standard, so no cable to lose or break. It’s thought Apple will come out with their long-delayed charging pad very shortly. With a wired charging case, the new models remain $159, but if you want the wireless charging case, it will set you back $199.
Amazon has freshened its entry level Kindle and bumped the price up. Theverge.com says the main new feature is a built-in light. The Kindle also has be re-designed a bit to make it easier to hold as well. Amazon has raised the price by 10 bucks…it’s now $89.99 for the ad-supported model. The entry level Kindle still keeps the 167 ppi display, instead of upgrading to the easier to read 300 ppi display like the Paperwhite and Oasis have. If Amazon doesn’t raise prices on the Paperwhite, it was already on sale for $90, so would be a better deal at this point…UNLESS you trade in your old one. they will give you a trade-in amount (to be determined depending on condition) on the old one, plus a 25% discount on the newer Kindle.
Waymo has announced a huge expansion for their Tech Service Center in Mesa, AZ. 9to9mac.com reports that the 85,000 square foot center will more than double Waymo’s ability to service, maintain, and grow the fleet of Waymo One driverless vehicles they run there. They had just opened a 60,000 square foot center in Chandler last year.