Apple spends about $50 million hosting its annual developer conference, known as WWDC, every summer. That is until the event, which has been held in recent years at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, went all-virtual last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The figure, the first time we've ever had any confirmation of how much Apple spends on its developer gathering, came from live testimony from Apple fellow Phil Schiller, who's in court in Oakland, California testifying in the ongoing Epic Games v. Apple antitrust trial. Schiller says Apple used to charge developers to attend, which would offset some of the cost of hosting and running WWDC, but that it hadn't charged for access to its all-virtual conference last year. Apple plans to host another digital WWDC from June 7 to 11.
Schiller was asked how much Apple spends, and whether the figure was factored into the operating costs of the App Store. He said it was not. Apple's lawyers have spent a considerable amount of time over the past two weeks of the trial trying to undermine expert testimony from Epic, in which financial researcher Ned Barnes said he calculated the App Store's operating margin in 2019 to be 78%.
Epic has argued the high profitability of the App Store is one of the reasons why Apple continues to demand 30% of digital transactions and that Apple fails to justify that commission rate through its claims of providing security, privacy, App Store review, and other operating costs. Apple has argued it does not have calculate the profitability of the App Store as an individual unit and that any attempts to do so would be misleading as they do not take into account the amount of money Apple invests in the iOS ecosystem, such as research and development costs and the money it spends on events like WWDC.
Following news that AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia and merging it with Discovery, WarnerMedia chief executive Jason Kilar has hired a legal team to negotiate his exit, The New York Times reported Monday.
David Zaslav, Discovery's CEO, is set to lead the new entity, which raised immediate questions about Kilar's future. Kilar, the former Hulu CEO, joined WarnerMedia as CEO just last year.
According to the Times, Kilar was not involved in conversations about the merger until recent days.
Parler, the social media app popular with conservatives, is returning to iPhones with more content moderation and blocking of hate speech after it was pulled from app stores in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, according to the Washington Post.
Parler, which touted itself as a free speech alternative to content moderation of big tech companies such as Twitter and Facebook, is contracting with Hive for 1,000 content moderators to enforce the social media site's guidelines, the Post reported.
Incitement and threats of physical violence will be removed for all platforms, while iPhone users won't be able to see hate speech including racial slurs that will remain visible to users on other platforms, according to the report.
Google's Play Store had also banned the app after the Capitol attackers sought to overturn the election, with some of the app's users celebrating the violence. Parler, however, is available for "side-loading" on Android phones and users there and on the web will see some content that the app agreed to block on Apple it order to come back, the Post said.
Amy Peikoff, Parler's chief policy officer, called the new version "Parler Lite or Parler PG," according to the Post, although it's clear the platform will still seek to allow a wide range of posts as it claims Facebook and other platforms are biased against conservatives.
WarnerMedia and Discovery are merging, the companies announced, creating a new public media giant meant to take on Netflix.
AT&T will get $43 billion from the new merger, with its shareholders owning 71% of the new company. Discovery's David Zaslav will lead the new entity, and it's not clear what will happen to WarnerMedia's Jason Kilar, who isn't mentioned in the press release.
AT&T bought WarnerMedia as part of its $85 billion Time Warner acquisition, which closed in 2018. The spinout appears to signal AT&T getting out of the content game, and going back to its roots of focusing on telecoms services — something Verizon looks to be doing too, with the recent sale of its media assets to private equity company Apollo.