Trending tickers: Apple, Bitcoin, Target and PepsiCo

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside the Apple Fifth Avenue store as Apple's Vision Pro headset is presented there, in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., February 2, 2024. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Apple gets EU warning over app store rules (Reuters / Reuters)

Apple risks billions of euros in fines after the European Union found the iPhone maker’s App Store to be violating the bloc’s landmark digital competition rules.

Brussels has accused Apple of stifling competition on its app store, marking the first time EU regulators have used new digital rules on a big tech group.

The European Commission informed Apple in a “preliminary view” that the “App Store rules... prevent app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content”.

If found guilty, Apple faces a penalty of up to 10% of its global annual revenue. The fines can rise to 20% in the event the offence is repeated, the EU said.

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This is the first time the commission has levelled a formal accusation against a tech firm under the new rules, after opening the first Digital Markets Act (DMA) probes into Apple, Google (GOOG) and Meta (META) in March.

Bitcoin was trading lower on Monday as the crypto market recorded its second-worst weekly drop of 2024 amid cooling demand for crypto ETFs.

Bitcoin has now fallen below $63,000 (£49,750), nursing steep losses over the past week as traders grew sceptical over the timing of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

For some analysts, the retreat in digital assets is a warning sign for broader risk appetite, according to Bloomberg.

The cryptocurrency is at a more than one-month low, hurt by a six-day streak of outflows from US ETFs for the token.

Bitcoin hit a record of $73,798 in March but is trailing traditional assets such stocks, bonds and gold this quarter.

Shares in Target were higher in pre-market trading as investors welcomed the announcement that the retailer plans to rolls out a new AI tool to improve productivity and growth.

The retailer said it would roll out its gen AI-powered chatbot, Store Companion, by August, giving its associates at its early 2,000 stores a tool that can “answer on-the-job process questions, coach new team members, support store operations management and more.”

The chatbot will be accessible via an app on handheld devices issued to store personnel, offering instant answers to procedural questions.

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Target is the latest US retailer to announce that it plans to use AI to support its customers and frontline workers. Walmart (WMT) began using gen AI late last year to enhance customer search and provide frontline employees with real time information that can help them answer customer queries and obtain operational information.

Carlsberg (CARL-B.CO) confirmed on Monday that PepsiCo has agreed to waive a change of control clause in its bottling arrangements with Britvic (BVIC.L), removing a potential challenge for the Danish brewer looking to buy the UK drinks company.

Carlsberg is considering its position after the British drinks giant confirmed on Friday that it had rejected two offers, which it claimed had “significantly undervalued” the business.

Britvic's board said that the offer, and the earlier one of 1,200p a share, both significantly undervalued the business. The latest offer valued the company at £3.1bn.

Carlsberg now has until 19 July to make a firm offer for the tonic maker or walk away from the deal.

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