EU Digging into Google Over Anti-Trust; Samsung Smartwatch Update; TikTok Bows ‘Jump’; Amazon Options Stake in Truck AI Self-Driving System PlusPosted: June 22, 2021
Recently, there were 5 bipartisan bills introduced in the US Congress dealing with paring back the power of big tech companies. Now, the EU has announced that they are investigating Google’s ad tech over antitrust worries. Techcrunch.com reports that Google has already been subject to three major EU antitrust enforcements in 5 years. This investigation will focus on assessing whether Google has violated EU competition rules by “favouring its own online display advertising technology services in the so called ‘ad tech’ supply chain, to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers”.
There’s already been a good deal of reporting of how Samsung and Google are mashing up their smartwatch hardware and software…effectively merging Wear OS and Tizen. Now, we may get a preview of how it will all work and look. According to theverge.com, that may happen at Samsung’s MWC 2021 June 28th from 1:15 to 2PM Eastern. It will be a virtual event again, available on stream. Besides ‘reimagining smartwatches,’ Samsung teases presentations on the ‘Galaxy ecosystem’ and ‘mobile security.’ The smartwatch merger is a biggie…neither Google nor Samsung have been able to make even a small crack in Apple’s hold on the smartwatch market.
TikTok has introduced Jump, a new way for creators to add interactivity to their videos using third-party integrations. Engadget.com gives the example of a cooking video featuring a list of ingredients from recipe-sharing app Whisk. The TikTok Jump feature has been in beta, and although now everyone can see and interact with it, only a ‘select’ group of creators can add it to their content for the time being. Whisk, Breathwrk ,and Quizlet, as well as Wikipedia, StatMuse and Tabelog are useable now. Others like BuzzFeed, Jumprope, IRL and WATCHA will launch in the coming weeks.
Amazon has ordered 1,000 self-driving systems from self-driving truck tech startup Plus, AND has taken an option to buy up to 20% of the business. Bloomberg reports that the Sequoia Capital China-backed company has a valuation of $3.3 billion right now. The tech they are developing is for autonomous operation of long haul trucks. Plus is based in Cupertino, and was started by a group of Stanford classmates. The company recently hired Dennis Mooney from Navistar International Corp. and Chuck Joseph from Amazon.com Inc. to help scale up production and promote the adoption of Plus technology.