Another Antitrust Suit Filed; Streaming Commerce Startup Funded

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The States vs. Android

Three dozen state attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, targeting the company’s Play Store policies and dominance in app distribution. Google has made concessions to Android developers. Earlier this year, Google cut its commission on in-app sales from 30% to 15% for an app’s first $1 million in revenue. Google also allows other app stores to be downloaded on Android. Compare that to Apple’s iOS, which allows no other app stores, hasn’t budged on service fees and has almost twice as much in-app revenue as Play Store apps. An important part of the state attorneys’ case is that Google allegedly made direct offers to Samsung in an effort to divert Samsung’s plan to launch a Galaxy app store. The Utah AG says Google has a 90% share of app distribution on Android, and no other app store exceeds 5%, and that Google only allows sideloading of rival app stores to “maintain its image of ‘openness.’” The Wall Street Journal has more.

Livestreaming Commerce

Tech startup Popshop Live clinched $20 million in funding as it looks to scale its ecommerce platform and app, where sellers hawk their wares via livestreams. The company is geared toward hipsters and millennials into edgy brands, TechCrunch reports. The funding was led by venture capital firm Benchmark, and follows a $3 million investment the company received last year. The latest round comes during a boom in ecommerce and online shopping fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company’s TikTok-like livestreams seem to have struck a chord (think ecomm versions of the Home Shopping Network or QVC). Popshop Live sellers have totaled $500,000 in gross merchandise, according to TechCrunch, with a monthly return customer rate of 80%. 

IDs, Please

Verizon Media announced that Maven, publisher of titles such as Sports Illustrated and TheStreet, has integrated its advertising identity system, ConnectID. Maven is ConnectID’s third supply integration, according to Adweek. It joins Cafe Media and Newsweek, as well as Verizon Media properties TechCrunch, Yahoo and Engadget. Large news publishers are entering the ad tech market as well, with the Washington Post and Vox each launching SaaS advertising and analytics products using first-party audience data. But even with these burgeoning publisher networks, and with programmatic publishers such as CafeMedia integrating many identity services (ConnectID adds to a menu of the Unified ID, LiveRamp’s IdentityLink and other ID options), there is still a seemingly endless gulf between the open internet’s supply of logged-in or addressable audiences and walled gardens like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook that can still operate at massive scale. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

MobileFuse has acquired Enhance, an SDK integrator for app owners. [release]

Facebook’s business strategy includes a focus on personalized experiences. [Adweek]

Though Apple has yet to crack down on fingerprinting as part of its new privacy framework, it may not even have to due to its Private Relay. [Digiday]

Omnicom Media Group signed up to use programmatic platform Teads’ AI-powered cookieless targeting solution. [PRWeek]

Digital consultancy Silverline acquired Shift CRM. [release]

You’re Hired

WhizzCo hired Bill Nolte as CRO and Pamela Becker as CMO. [release]

VaynerMedia taps Eric Jacobs as its first chief innovation officer. [CampaignUS]

Criteo hired Nola Solomon as senior vice president, go-to-market. [release]

You & Mr Jones Hires Amazon Vet To Lead Ecommerce [Adweek]

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