Apple’s App Store, Vaccine Mandate



Judge loosens Apples grip on app store in Epic decision

SAN RAMON, Calif.: A federal judge ordered Apple to dismantle a lucrative part of the competitive barricade guarding its closely run app store, but rejected allegations that the company has been running an illegal monopoly that throttles competition and innovation. The ruling issued Friday continues to chip away at the so-called walled garden that Apple has built around its crown jewel, the iPhone, and its app store, without toppling it completely. But the 185-page decision also provided Apple with some vindication in its legal battle with Epic Games, in that the judge didnt brand it a monopolist or require it to allow competing stores to offer iPhone apps.


Tech slide pulls S&P 500 down for its 5th straight loss

NEW YORK: Stocks ended an up-and-down day lower on Wall Street, giving the S&P 500 its fifth consecutive loss and its first weekly decline after two weeks of gains. The benchmark index gave back 0.8% Friday, extending its loss for the week to 1.7%. Technology stocks did the most to weigh down the market, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back 0.9%. Apple fell 3.3% after a judge ordered the company to take down part of the competitive barricade that surrounds its app store, which is a major moneymaker for the company. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.33%.


Vaccine mandate spawns new fear: Finding and keeping workers

NEW YORK: The new federal vaccine requirement for large companies has raised concerns over whether it will now be even harder to retain workers or find new ones. President Joe Biden announced sweeping new orders Thursday requiring employers with more than 100 workers to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 or offer weekly testing. The new rules could affect as many as 100 million Americans. Even companies that favor Bidens decision as a way to stop the coronavirus from spreading further are afraid that vaccination-averse workers will leave, or job seekers wont apply for their openings. Some workers may also switch to smaller companies where shots in the arm arent required.


White House competition council seeks lower consumer prices

WASHINGTON: At the first meeting of a new White House council on U.S. economic conditions, participants are highlighting at least 18 actions taken to help consumers and potentially lower prices. The council is aimed at refocusing the economy around the interests of consumers, workers and entrepreneurs. Details about Fridays meeting were provided by two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the gathering. Among the matters on the agenda were a new report about airlines that wrongfully denied refunds to customers whose flights were changed or canceled, and a nearly 20-fold increase in fines for hospitals that fail to disclose their prices to the public.


US producer prices jump an unprecedented 8.3% in August

WASHINGTON: Inflation at the wholesale level climbed 8.3% last month from August 2020, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department started calculating the 12-month number in 2010. The Labor Department reported Friday that its producer price index which measures inflationary pressures before they reach consumers rose 0.7% last month from July after increasing 1% in both June and July. Inflation has been stirring as the economy recovers from last years brief but intense coronavirus recession. Supply chain bottlenecks and a shortage of workers have pushed prices higher.


Policy center says debt limit could be hit in mid-October

WASHINGTON: The government will likely face an unprecedented default on its debt obligations between mid-October and mid-November, a Washington think tank said Friday, seconding a warning earlier this week from the Treasury. The X Date, the date when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will run out of maneuvering room to avoid hitting the debt limit if Congress does not act, will occur a couple of weeks after the start of the new budget year on Oct. 1 and may not be reached until as late as the middle of November, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.


US investigating airlines over slow refunds during pandemic

WASHINGTON: The Transportation Department is detailing efforts it says it is making to help airline customers who were wrongfully denied refunds after flights were canceled or changed during the pandemic. The department says in a new report that it investigated 20 airlines over failures to issue prompt refunds to customers, and 18 of those probes are still going. The department disclosed that an examination into United Airlines was dropped in January after the airline took steps resulting in thousands of customers getting refunds.


DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats sue NYC over pandemic fee caps

NEW YORK: Three of the nations largest food delivery companies are suing New York City over a limit on fees it put in place during the pandemic to protect restaurants devastated by the forced closure of their dining rooms. The city has continued to extend those caps even as vaccinations allow more indoor dining which, according to the companies, cost them millions of dollars over the summer. In the suit filed late Thursday the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats call the fee caps government overreach. The companies say they were instrumental in keeping restaurants afloat and food industry workers employed after investing millions of dollars in relief for those businesses.


The S&P 500 fell 34.70 points, or 0.8%, to 4,458.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 271.66 points, or 0.8%, to 34,607.72. The Nasdaq dropped 132.76 points, or 0.9%, to 15,115.49. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave back 21.58 points, or 1%, to 2,227.55.

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