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App Store Expectations of an Avalanche as Apple Complies with EU Demands By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc logo is seen at the entrance to the Apple Store in Brussels, Belgium, November 28, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Hermann

By Martin Coulter

LONDON (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:) rivals position themselves as a suitable alternative to the dominant App Store as the iPhone maker prepares to allow others on its devices in the European Union.

Blockchain’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) will force Apple and fellow tech giant Google (NASDAQ:) to make room for third-party app stores on their iOS and Android devices.

Under the DMA, which goes into effect on a rolling basis over the next two years, third-party alternatives will have an easier path to iPhone and Android devices.

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And as components of the legislation go into effect, competitors from smaller startups to corporate behemoths like Amazon (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft (NASDAQ::) may try to lure consumers and app developers alike away from Apple and Google.

Ben Wood, chief marketing officer of industry analysis firm CCS Insight, said he expects “an avalanche of app stores” in the near future.

“There’s an emerging ‘coalition of the willing’ and they all have a vested interest in not having to pay what they see as a tax to Apple,” Wood told Reuters.

Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

Currently Android users can install apps from alternative sources, a process known as “sideloading”, but this often requires them to turn off certain security settings.

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Apple’s apparent concessions on sideloading are a win for industry leaders like Twitter owner Elon Musk and Spotify (NYSE:) CEO Daniel Eck, both of whom bemoaned the company’s 30% surcharge on purchases made through the App Store.

Competitors plan to bring frustrated developers into their stores, promising lower commission fees and the possibility of exclusive deals with popular apps.

“Competition is a good way to improve services,” said Paulo Trezentos, CEO of Portuguese company Aptoide, which takes a 15% to 25% cut from in-app purchases.

Trezentos said exclusive content deals can lead to competition in app stores in much the same way as has happened in the “streaming wars” between Netflix (NASDAQ:) and competitors like Disney+ and Amazon Prime, adding: “Netflix has content our HBO doesn’t have.. App stores can be like that. “

Paddle, a payments processor for software companies, has built its own competitor for the App Store, which it hopes to launch in Europe once DMA goes into effect.

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“The 30% fee is actually pretty outrageous when we look at it compared to the actual amount of payment processing costs, and what Apple is actually offering,” CEO Christian Owens said.

Paddle’s in-app payment system, Owens said, will charge developers between 5% and 10% on transactions.

“The biggest hurdle they’ll need to overcome is the consumer,” Wood said at CCS Insight.

(This story has been corrected to fix CCS Insight spelling in paragraphs 5 and 16)

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Red Flags That Your Spouse Is Hiding Money (And What To Do About It)

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Marriage can be hard enough without one spouse hiding money from the other.

When financial infidelity occurs in the form of “hidden cash,” a marriage or a live-forever relationship can easily be ended.

The truth is About 30% of American couples suffer from financial infidelity. Other evidence shows that more than 75% of couples describe the hidden money situation as negative and common 10% of these scenarios end in divorce.

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US judge orders Norwegian Cruise Line to pay $110m for use of Cuba port By Reuters

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© Reuters. Norwegian American Airlines cruise ship Marina arrives in Havana Bay, Cuba on March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Meneghini/File/File Photo

Written by Brian Ellsworth

MIAMI (Reuters) – Norwegian Shipping Line (NYSE) has to pay $110 million in compensation for the use of a port confiscated by the Cuban government in 1960, a US judge said Friday, marking a significant milestone for Cuban Americans. Who are seeking reparations for the Cold War era. Assets confiscation.

The decision by US District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami follows her decision in March that use of the Havana Cruise Terminal constituted smuggling of forfeited property belonging to the plaintiff, Delaware-registered Havana Docks Corp.

The decision read: “The judgment is made in favor of Plaintiff Havana Docks Corporation and against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.”

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“The plaintiff was awarded $109,848,747.87 in damages,” it says, adding that the Norwegian must also pay an additional $3 million in legal fees and costs.

Norwegian Cruise Line did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has sharply criticized the Helms-Burton Act, calling it an extraterritorial violation of international law.

Havana Docks also sued Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE: ), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:) and MSC under the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue over the use of property seized in Cuba after 1959.

The ruling could fuel more lawsuits by Cuban exiles pursuing claims, worth $2 billion, according to one estimate, over asset seizures under late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

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It may also serve as a reminder to multinational companies of the complexities that can come with doing business in Cuba.

In 2016, US cruise ships began traveling to Cuba for the first time in decades after a détente negotiated by former President Barack Obama eased some provisions of a Cold War US embargo.

But the Trump administration in 2019 ordered a halt to all such cruises amid efforts to pressure Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Washington’s ideological foe.

The Trump administration has also allowed US citizens to sue third parties for using property seized by Cuban authorities, a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that every previous president has waived since the law was passed in 1996.

Havana Docs says Cuba, which has been under a US trade embargo for decades, has never compensated it for taking the drug.

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The four cruise lines sued in 2019 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Bloom in March held the companies liable for damages under the Helms-Burton Act, also known as the Libertad Act.

According to the US-Cuban Economic and Trade Council, a nonprofit organization that provides information on relations between the two countries, 5,913 validated claims related to property seized in Cuba represent an estimated liability of nearly $2 billion.

Forty-four lawsuits have been filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the organization says.

“For the current plaintiffs of Cuban descent, (the decision) will give them a moment of relief,” said John Cavulich, the group’s president. “It will give them a moment to say ‘You can run but you can’t hide,’” Cavulich said.

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Is a Royal Caribbean or Carnival beverage package worth it?

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An all-inclusive beverage package that gives you access to beer, wine, liquor, bottled water, soda, specialty coffee, and even shakes/juices may cost more than your cruise fare.

This is especially true right now when many cruise cabins are being sold at discounted prices while the drinks package prices have gone up.

Deciding whether to purchase a drink package is a challenge because you have to estimate whether you will be drinking enough to cover the cost. Or, more importantly, whether you’d spend more if you decided not to purchase a drink package.



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