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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… European Commission open to allowing cross-border telecom mergers, Apple wins EU rule exemption for iMessage, Meta Offers Advertisers Escape From Apple’s 30% Service Charge and much more…

European Commission open to allowing cross-border telecom mergers 

Mobile Europe

The European Commission has shifted its stance on telecoms mergers, indicating openness to consolidation to facilitate 5G and fibre network expansion. This marks a significant policy reversal in response to industry calls for consolidation to address financial challenges hindering investment in digital infrastructure. The Commission’s new approach signals an end to previous reluctance towards mergers, with a draft white paper highlighting concerns about sector fragmentation impacting operators’ ability to achieve necessary scale for future network investments, especially for cross-border services.

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Apple wins EU rule exemption for iMessage

Mobile World Live

The European Commission determined that Apple’s iMessage service will not be subject to the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations, which would have required the company to make concessions regarding interoperability. After a five-month investigation, the EC concluded that iMessage does not qualify as a core service operated by a gatekeeper under the DMA. Gatekeepers, as defined by the EC, are large online platforms that play a crucial role in connecting businesses and consumers, with their core services subject to regulatory scrutiny under the DMA to prevent anti-competitive behavior.

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Meta Offers Advertisers Escape From Apple’s 30% Service Charge


Businesses using boosted posts on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms can now avoid Apple’s service charge by boosting content directly on and through mobile or desktop devices. This change follows updates to Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, which require Meta to bill advertisers through Apple’s iOS app for boosting posts, resulting in a 30% service charge retained by Apple. Meta stated that compliance with Apple’s rules or removal of boosted posts from its apps is necessary. Boosted posts are a popular feature among small businesses for quickly promoting content without launching full ad campaigns through Meta’s Ads Manager.

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TechScape: Bluesky opens up to the world – but can anything really replace Twitter?


Last week, Bluesky transitioned from an invite-only closed beta to open access, allowing anyone to sign up with just an email address. Despite a decrease in the perceived value of invitations over time, there was significant demand, with over a million new signups in just two days. This contrasts with the slow growth Bluesky experienced during its closed beta phase, where it took over three months to reach 70,000 users after the release of its iOS app in February of the previous year. The gradual growth during the beta phase provided Bluesky with the opportunity to refine its service based on feedback from a dedicated user base.

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Cybercriminals are stealing Face ID scans to break into mobile banking accounts


A cybercriminal group known as GoldFactory has initiated a new wave of cybercrime targeting iOS users in Thailand. They are stealing Face ID scans from iPhone owners to gain unauthorized access to their bank accounts, marking a world first in this form of cybercrime. The group distributes trojanized smartphone apps, including GoldPickaxe and GoldPickaxe.iOS, which trick users into performing biometric verification checks, allowing the cybercriminals to harvest the biometric data. This stolen data is then utilized to bypass security measures employed by finance apps in Vietnam and Thailand, enabling the theft of funds from victims’ bank accounts. While currently limited to these two countries, there are concerns about the potential spread of this crime worldwide.

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AppLovin Reveals Ways Generative AI Is Transforming The Mobile Ads Creative Process

Business Wire

AppLovin, a leading marketing technology platform, has released its Performance-driven Ad Trends 2024 report, highlighting the role of AI tools in enhancing creative processes and efficiencies. The report showcases how AppLovin’s in-house creative agency, SparkLabs, utilizes generative AI to elevate the quality and impact of performance ads. It also delves into top-performing creative strategies of the year. Katie Jansen, CMO of AppLovin, emphasizes the importance of embracing AI to expand creative potential, improve efficiencies, and drive better results for customers. Jansen highlights the need to foster a culture that encourages creative teams to explore and adopt AI technologies.

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‘Clash of Clans’ maker to ‘take more risks’ in search of billion-dollar hit

Financial Times

Supercell, the Finnish mobile gaming company, plans to venture into new genres and take more risks to surpass the success of its blockbuster hits like Clash of Clans and Hay Day, according to CEO Ilkka Paananen. With the pressure to outdo the multibillion-dollar revenues generated by Clash of Clans, Paananen emphasized the importance of innovation and exploring new avenues. He stated that Supercell aims to create something even bigger and better than its previous successes by being open to all kinds of risks, including venturing into new genres and inventing new ones.

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E-Wallets, Crypto, and More: The Future of Payments in Online Gambling 

The Canary

In the online gaming industry, payment options are constantly evolving to meet changing customer preferences and technological advancements. One notable trend is the simplification of signup and withdrawal procedures, with a focus on quick payout of winnings. As the industry continues to develop, we can anticipate further enhancements in payment speed and ease of transactions. This may include the integration of new payment technologies, improved security measures, and expanded options for digital payments. Overall, the goal is to provide players with a seamless and convenient payment experience, reflecting the dynamic nature of the online gaming landscape.

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IoT eSIM connections tipped for adoption drive

Mobile World Live

Omdia forecasts a significant rise in the adoption of eSIM technology in IoT devices, with the number of connected devices expected to increase from just over 1 billion in 2023 to over 3.6 billion by 2030. This growth is attributed to advancements in eSIM technology, aided by new standards, increased enterprise demand, and the emergence of reduced capability 5G Massive IoT and LTE Cat-1bis modules. Previous adoption challenges related to power, computing, and end-user intervention are being addressed, with improvements seen in profile switching, device management, and commercial terms. The release of GSMA SGP.31/32 specifications in 2023, tailored for IoT devices, is also contributing to the positive outlook for eSIM adoption in the IoT sector.

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