1. GOOGLE: Alphabet was down 1.8% in Thursday’s premarket trading, a day after several states took it to court alleging the company operates an illegal monopoly with its Google Play app store.
The suit adds to the pile of litigations against the company in the U.S. and Europe over its dominance of search advertising and its ad tech business.
Filed in the U.S. District Court, the suit alleges the company has monopolized the distribution of apps on devices running the Google-owned Android operating system, blocking competition through contracts and technical barriers.
In a blog post, Google said it provides an open operating system in which customers are free to download apps directly from developers’ websites.
While what Google says is true, few users do it, preferring to use its Play Store and in the process elevating it to the status of a gatekeeper for apps that are downloaded to smartphones using its Android operating system. For downloads through its Play Store, Google collects a 15% to 30% service fee on sales from the app owners.
2. VOLKSWAGEN:-Volkswagen said on Thursday it was considering whether to take legal action against an EU antitrust fine, saying the penalty over technical talks about emissions technology with other carmakers set a questionable precedent.
“The Commission is entering new judicial territory because it is treating technical cooperation for the first time as an antitrust violation,” the German carmaker said after it was fined 502 million euros ($593 million).
“Furthermore it is imposing fines, although the content of the talks was never implemented and no customers suffered any harm as a result,” Volkswagen added in a statement.
Volkswagen called for clearer guidelines: “The high fines imposed in this case underscore the need for more comprehensive guidance from the Commission to ensure that legal uncertainty does not hamper innovation in Europe,” it said.
3. LG:- LG Chem Ltd and its wholly-owned battery subsidiary LG Energy Solution (LGES) plan to invest a combined 15.1 trillion won ($13.17 billion) in South Korea this decade, LGES said on Thursday.
Across the globe, countries are racing to bolster EV battery supply chains as demand for electric vehicles surges to combat climate change and automakers partner with battery makers to ensure uninterrupted supplies.
China is dominant, but South Korea is relatively well-placed, with plans to invest a combined more than 40 trillion won through 2030, the country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
That includes money from Samsung SDI Co Ltd and SK Innovation Co Ltd and other battery material makers, as well as Thursday’s announcement from LG Chem and LGES.
4. SAMSUNG:– South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co may build a battery cell plant in the United States to support the auto industry’s shift to electrification, a company source with close knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, has been in talks with automakers including Stellantis, Amazon and Ford Motor-backed electric vehicle startup Rivian to supply batteries manufactured at its potential U.S. factory, the source said.
The South Korean battery maker is considering investing at least 3 trillion won ($2.62 billion) to manufacture batteries for Stellantis and a minimum of 1 trillion won for batteries to Rivian, according to the source.
The source added that Samsung SDI has not yet decided whether they would launch the U.S. plant as a joint venture with carmakers, or as an independent manufacturing site.
The source said the decision to build in the U.S. reflects the changes on tariff rules in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that took effect last year, replacing the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
5. TESLA –U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc sold 33,155 China-made vehicles, including those for export, in June, China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Thursday.
CPCA also said China sold 1.6 million passenger cars in June, down 5.3% from a year earlier.