The CEO of Epic Games offered a granular explanation of the popular game Fortnite to paint a full picture of his corporate world on day one of what is expected to be a three-week trial, pitting Epic against Apple in a fight for the Apple application. Store fees and other rules that could reshape the $ 100 billion app economy.
Fortnite, said Tim Sweeney, “is a phenomenon that transcends gaming,” Erin Griffith reports for The New York Times.
“Our goal in Fortnite is to build something like a sci-fi metaverse,” he said.
Metaverse? A court reporter needed clarification. It’s a virtual world for socializing and entertaining, Mr. Sweeney said.
In a nearly empty courtroom in Oakland, Katherine Forrest of the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore opened Epic’s case by viewing a series of emails between Apple’s top executives. According to Ms. Forrest, the emails prove that the tech giant has deliberately created a “walled garden” that locks consumers and developers inside. This forces them to use Apple’s payment system, she said.
After Apple attracted users and developers to its walled garden, “the garden gate was closed, the lock turned,” Ms. Forrest said. She compared Apple’s fees on in-app purchases for subscription services to an auto dealership that charges a commission on gasoline sales.
Apple lawyers described in their opening statement a thriving market for application distribution that includes game consoles, desktop games and the mobile web. Paul’s Karen Dunn, Weiss argued that the 30% commission was up to industry standards and that Epic’s claims, if granted, would make iPhones less secure, while illegally forcing Apple to make doing business with a competitor.
Ms Dunn added that Epic’s case was a selfish way to avoid paying the fees it owed Apple and that its legal basis was precarious.
S&P 500 futures were lower on Tuesday, while European stocks were mostly higher. Companies in the travel and hotel sector, supported by news from the European Union showing its visitor reception projects, are gaining ground.
The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.3% and the FTSE 100 in Great Britain was 0.8% higher. Dax in Germany lost 0.2%.
Among the winners were Tui, a large travel services company, based in Germany (up 4.2%) and UK pub chain Whitbread, up 2.5%.
Oil prices rose as Saudi Aramco joined other oil companies to report strong profits for the last quarter. Brent gained 1.9% to $ 68.82 per barrel. It hasn’t closed above $ 70 a barrel since the end of 2018. West Texas Intermediate gained 1.7 percent, to $ 65.60 a barrel.
In remarks Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said that while the economic outlook had “clearly brightened” as cases of Covid-19 eased across the country, the fallout economic impacts have disproportionately affected many vulnerable communities.
“Lives and livelihoods have been affected variably from person to person, family to family and community to community,” he said. speech.
The troubles of a chipmaker
Infineon, a large semiconductor producer in Germany, reported “booming” demand for chips as it posted strong quarterly results. But he warned of lingering supply chain problems.
“Demand far exceeds supply for the majority of applications,” Managing Director Reinhard Ploss said in a statement. Even though its factories are operating “at full capacity,” he continued, the company still faces bottlenecks in the supply chain. “We are doing everything we can to offer our customers the best possible support in this situation.”
The company’s shares fell 3.4%.
Saudi Aramco Results
The world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco reported a 30% increase in first quarter net profit compared to the same period a year ago.
The company joins other energy producers who reported strong profits this quarter as oil prices continued to recover from last year’s slump.
Aramco is 98% owned by the Saudi government and has pledged to pay $ 75 billion in dividends per year, so almost all of that money goes to support the Saudi government.
“The momentum provided by the global economic recovery has strengthened energy markets,” Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin H. Nasser said in a statement. “Given the positive signs of energy demand in 2021, there is more reason to be optimistic that better days are approaching.”
On Tuesday, Pfizer announced that its Covid vaccine generated $ 3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, nearly a quarter of its total revenue. The vaccine was, by far, Pfizer’s biggest source of revenue, report Rebecca Robbins and Peter S. Goodman of the New York Times.
The company did not disclose how much profit it made from the vaccine, but reiterated its previous prediction that its profit margins on the vaccine would be in the high 20 percent range. That would translate to about $ 900 million in pre-tax vaccine profits in the first quarter.
Pfizer has been widely recognized for developing unproven technology that has saved countless lives.
But the company’s vaccine is disproportionately reaching the world’s wealthy – an outcome, for now at least, at odds with its chief executive’s commitment to ensuring that the poorest countries “have the same access as the world’s poorest countries. rest of the world ”to a highly effective vaccine. to prevent Covid-19.
By mid-April, rich countries had obtained more than 87% of the more than 700 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines distributed worldwide, while poor countries had only received 0.2%, according to the ‘World Health Organization. In wealthy countries, about one in four people have received a vaccine. In poor countries, that figure is one in 500.
Eleven Madison Park, Manhattan’s restaurant that has been called the world’s best, will serve an all-plant-based menu when it reopens after more than a year of closure due to the pandemic.
Eleven Madison Park’s multi-course menu will retain its pre-pandemic price of $ 335, including tip, Brett Anderson and Jenny Gross report for The New York Times.
Daniel Humm, the chief of Eleven Madison Park, said the decision was the result of a year-long reassessment on the direction of his career, which reached its breaking point during the pandemic.
“It became very clear to me that our idea of what luxury is had to change,” Humm said. “We couldn’t go back to doing what we were doing before.”
As the restaurant’s ingredient costs drop, labor costs will rise as Mr. Humm and his chefs strive to ensure that vegan foods live up to Eleven Madison’s reputation. Park. “It’s a process that takes a lot of work and time,” he said.
It marks a striking start for one of America’s most beloved restaurants of the past 20 years. While Mr. Humm still offers plenty of red meat at his London restaurant, Davies and Brook at Claridge’s Hotel, the move to Eleven Madison Park – which has four New York Times and three Michelin stars – suggests just how much the gastronomy can be different. as restaurants reopen and reinvent themselves.