US stocks fall, big tech antitrust concerns come into focus

Market Updates

US stocks finished last week out lower, as antitrust concerns for big tech were shunted to the forefront of the news cycle. 

Between last Monday to Friday, the S&P 500 fell 1.57%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed the week down 1.59%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped a more substantial 1.98%. 

This comes as a US federal judge handed down a decision in the much-watched Apple VS Epic Games case. We examine that case in more detail below. 

Beyond these market developments, across September and October the team at Jaaims will be deploying new features every week as we launch Jaaims 2.0. Some new and exciting features that you can expect:

  • A revitalised and completely new intuitive design
  • New market indicators
  • Comprehensive stock fundamental information including ESG tools
  • New portfolio capabilities including the introduction of a watch-list
  • Diversification tools
  • Plus more!

Stay tuned for more details and keep an eye out for our weekly new feature emails.

An inevitable state of affairs? 

Epic Games – maker of the ever popular video game Fortnite – in 2020 sued Apple after the tech behemoth removed the company’s app from the App Store. 

Epic’s lawsuit was chiefly concerned with the restrictions Apple places on app and in-app purchases. Apple takes a 30% cut from App store purchases and had previously disallowed app providers, such as Epic, from prompting users to make purchases outside of the ‘Apple ecosystem’. 

That lawsuit reached a resolution last week, with US District Judge – Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers – handing down a decision in the dispute between Apple and Epic. 

Overall, Judge Rogers said that Apple’s app store practices did not violate federal antitrust laws; while arguing that they did violate Californian law, specifically in relation to the manner in which the company concealed information from consumers.

‘The Court concludes that Apple’s anti-steering provisions hide critical information from consumers and illegally stifle consumer choice.’

Judge Rogers said that Apple must remove such provisions, pointing out: 

‘When coupled with Apple’s incipient antitrust violations, these anti-steering provisions are anticompetitive and a nationwide remedy to eliminate those provisions is warranted.’

Apple faced pronounced selling pressure in response to this news, with the stock dropping 3.31% on Friday, to finish the week at $148.97 per share. 

With antitrust concerns remaining open-ended for many high-profile tech companies – such as Facebook and Amazon – the entire tech complex might face increased levels of scrutiny (and volatility) from traders and investors in the short-term.

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