Global Tech Roundup: Big Tech CEO Congress Hearing, Twitch Vs TikTok and Others

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 29: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks via video conference during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images)

Happy holidays guys. In the world of tech this week, many important and interesting things happened. From stories of fundraisings, reports of high Q2 earnings to the U.S. house hearing of Apple and other big tech companies.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories you might have missed.

Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google Face Congress

This week, some of the biggest tech CEOs in the world faced US congress Antitrust committee in what was one the highest-profile hearing into antitrust and competition since the 1970s.

Amazon’s  Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s  Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai all appeared remotely before the US Committee answering questions on different issues.

The hearing which lasted some five and a half hours featured several highs as the CEOs were forced to speak on powerful accusations (anti-competitive behaviour) with some evidence showing alarming conduct by their companies.

The hearing provided the first glimpses of the outcome of the investigation that the subcommittee started in June 2019. For now, everyone will have to wait on the verdict in the final report.

Triller sues TikTok over Video Technology

Social video platform Triller sued its biggest rival TikTok over patent infringement covering “systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track.

The U.S Patent No. 9,691,429 credits Triller co-founders David Leiberman and Samuel Rubin as the inventors, noting that it was originally filed on April 11, 2015, and granted on June 27, 2017.

The patent describes a way to create videos syncing to audio including in some cases when one or more video takes are captured while the selected audio track is playing. This is similar to what TikTok does.

The suit was filed in the U.S District Court for the Western Division of Texas.

Big Tech Companies Earn Big in Q2

In the recently released Q2 earnings reported by Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon each bested expectations. The good news, coming at the heels of the grilling at congression hearing, will be very welcome by the CEOs.

Apple reported Q2 2020 revenue of $59.7 billion, up 11% from the same period a year ago. This was ahead of expectations, with the street anticipating $52.25 billion, according to Yahoo Finance averages.

Google parent company, reported $38.3 billion in revenue in Q2 2020, above an expected result of $37.36 billion. However, the search giants dropped year on year as it generated about $38.9 billion during the same quarter in 2019.

E-commerce giants, Amazon continue to benefit from the pandemic raising revenues of $88.9 billion, far above an expected result of $81.53 billion and up from $63.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.

In a big response to those against its policies, Facebook reported a revenue increase of $18.7 billion despite the Ads boycott. The revenue generated was up 11% from its year-ago result of $16.9 billion. Experts had expected just $17.4 billion in top-line.

Amazon’s internet-from-space Kuiper constellation of 3,236 satellites

Amazon has gotten approval from the Federal Communications Commission to start its Kuiper constellation plan. The plan entails sending 3,236 satellites into orbit to beam internet coverage down to Earth.

The Kuiper constellation plans to use satellites placed in three different altitudes. According to the FCC document, Amazon just needs to launch 5,778 satellites into orbit to begin service.

Amazon has not announced which launch provider it plans to use to fly the satellites into orbit yet but it revealed it will spend more than $10 billion on the project.

EU sanctions hackers from China, Russia, North Korea

The European Union has imposed its first-ever sanctions against persons or entities involved in various cyber-attacks targeting European citizens and its member states.

The directive has been issued against six individuals and three entities responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks, like the popular ‘WannaCry’ and ‘NotPetya’ hack.

The 6 individuals sanctioned include two Chinese citizens and four Russian nationals while the companies include an export firm based in North Korea, and technology companies from China and Russia.

The sanctions imposed include a ban on persons travelling to any EU countries and a freeze of assets on persons and entities. Also, EU citizens and entities are also forbidden from doing any business or engaging in transactions with those on the sanction list.

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