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Google forced OnePlus to decimate a Fortnite launcher deal, claims Epi

Image: OnePlus

Epic Games sued Google over pulling Fortnite from the Google Play Store Thursday evening, following a similar lawsuit against Apple.

We might have expected that. What we didn’t expect: Epic claims that Google forced phone manufacturer OnePlus to break off a deal that would have seen a special Fortnite launcher preinstalled on OnePlus phones — and demanded that another Android phonemaker, LG, abandon any plans to do the same.

With OnePlus, Epic claims that Google “forced OnePlus to renege on the deal” after Google expressed ‘concern’ about Epic’s ability to bypass the Play Store. Epic also alleges that the original deal between Epic and OnePlus would have made the launcher available worldwide, but Google “demanded that OnePlus not...

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Samsung’s most affordable 5G phone, the Galaxy A51, is now available

Image: Verizon

Samsung’s affordable midrange 5G phone, the Galaxy A51, is finally available at Verizon. Compared to other phones released within the past year, the $550 Galaxy A51 5G UW is one of the more affordable 5G phones right now: $900 cheaper than the (discontinued) Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip originally cost, $250 less than the OnePlus 8 5G UW, and $100 cheaper than the Galaxy A71 5G UW.

The new Galaxy A51 5G UW comes in just one color, “Prism Bricks Blue,” which is basically a slightly pearlescent blue. Compared to the Galaxy A71 5G UW, the A51 5G UW has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and 128GB of storage. Both phones also have the same 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera, and a 5-megapixel depth camera. But...

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Epic is suing Google over Fortnite’s removal from the Google Play St

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Epic Games has filed suit against Google over alleged antitrust violations, just hours after seeing Fortnite dropped from the both the Google Play Store and iOS App store and filing a similar lawsuit against Apple. Epic’s complaint alleges that Google’s payment restrictions on the Play Store constitute a monopoly, and thus a violation of both the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act.

Epic’s hit game Fortnite was removed from the Google Play Store earlier today.

Where the Apple complaint opened with a description of the company’s iconic 1984 ad, Epic’s complaint against Google focuses on that company’s now-infamous “Don’t Be Evil” mantra....

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Facebook tells Elizabeth Warren it has two different standards for cli

In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo is displayed on... Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook says its third-party fact-checking partners “do review and rate climate misinformation, and there has never been a prohibition against them doing so,” in a response to criticism from Democratic senators. Facebook will continue its policy of exempting “clear opinion content” from fact-checking, the letter says. The senators are unsatisfied.

In the response, which was shared exclusively with The Verge, the tech behemoth says it does not consider all climate change content “opinion.” But opinion articles about climate change don’t receive fact-checking, a policy Facebook says it began in 2016.

“We asked...

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Fortnite for Android has also been kicked off the Google Play Store

Photo by Stefan Etienne / The Verge

Following its removal from the Apple App Store, Fortnite has also been kicked off of the Google Play Store for Android. Earlier today, Epic Games snuck in an update for both the iPhone and Android versions of the game that allowed users to pay Epic directly for in-app purchases instead of using the officially sanctioned system for both platforms.

What followed was a wild ride: Apple kicked Fortnite off the App Store, then Epic sued Apple, and finally there was an in-game video parodying Apple’s own 1984 commercial, positioning Apple itself as the monopolist.

Now, Google is in the conversation. As with Apple, Google requires that games use the Google Play system for in-app purchases. Although the Play Store’s rules are somewhat more lax...

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Postmaster general under fire over Amazon stock holdings

US Postal Service Funding In Question As President Trump Threatens To Withheld In Budget Negotiations Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Postmaster general Louis DeJoy is under fire over a new CNN report that shows he holds stock options in Amazon, an apparent conflict of interest.

Federal law prohibits employees of the executive branch from holding a financial interest in a company that could have an impact on their government duties. Amazon is a significant customer of the USPS, with some analysts estimating the e-commerce giant uses the post office for around 40 percent of its shipping.

DeJoy held between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of stock in Amazon when he joined the Trump administration, CNN reported, citing financial disclosures. DeJoy divested the shares on June 24th but on the same day bought between $50,000 and $100,000 of Amazon stock options, which give him...

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Amazon can be held liable for products sold on Marketplace, appeals co

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon can be held liable for defective products sold on its Marketplace in California, an appeals court ruled Thursday. The California Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 trial court ruling and reinstated claims from a woman who says she suffered third-degree burns when a defective laptop battery she bought from a third-party seller on Amazon caught fire.

The decision could have dire repercussions for Amazon, which has argued for years that it only serves as an intermediary between buyers and third-party sellers on the Marketplace portion of its platform. That stance has protected Amazon from liability for Marketplace products, that is, until now. The company is now facing several other lawsuits over defective products in...

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You can type ‘how to vote’ into Google now for instant state-by-st

Image: Google

Election Day in the US — November 3rd — is almost here. Now, if you type “how to vote” or “how to register to vote” into Google’s search box, it will automatically detect which state you live in and give you voting dates, ways to register to vote online, and more.

If you go to Google’s search engine or the Chrome web browser to search for specific voting information, you’ll now get some very specific results:

Google search provides detailed answers to questions you may have about registering or voting in your state.

If you search “how to vote,” the first thing that appears on the webpage — below all of the ads, anyhow — is no longer the top search result for that phrase. Instead, you’ll see specific information on...

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Epic rallies Fortnite players against Apple with a warning that they

Image: Epic Games

Apple has banned Fortnite from the App Store for violating store policies, and Epic is rallying players against the iPhone maker in part by telling them they could miss the game’s upcoming season if Apple doesn’t change its rules.

“Because Apple has BLOCKED your ability to update, when Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 4 releases you will NOT be able to play the new Season on iOS,” Epic said in a blog post titled “#FreeFortnite.”

Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 is scheduled to begin on August 27th. If nothing changes between Apple and Epic by then, that means the game’s many iOS players will lose out on the chance to play Fortnite’s next major update in just a couple weeks. New seasons typically introduce a significant amount of content, such as...

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Watch Epic’s Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite short mocking Apple right here

Epic just premiered a new short mocking Apple shortly after the iPhone-maker kicked Fortnite from the App Store for violating its guidelines on Thursday. The short, titled “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” directly mocks Apple’s iconic “1984” ad, taking famous imagery from the ad and giving it a cartoony Fortnite twist.

A man with an apple for a face on a giant screen talks to a soulless, black-and-white audience. “Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the platform unification directives,” says the apple in a menacing voice. “For years, they have given us their songs, their labor, their dreams. In exchange, we have taken our tribute, our profits, our control. This power is ours and ours alone. We shall prevail.”

As he says that last line...

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