Google fights KakaoTalk, Twitter’s contract is at risk, and the FTC is asked to look into TikTok

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Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re also a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus. In 2020, investors poured $73 billion in capital into mobile companies — a figure that was up 27% year-over-year. This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and much more.

The weekly TechCrunch feature This Week in Apps reviews the most recent developments in mobile OS news, mobile applications, and the app ecosystem as a whole. According to the most recent year-end statistics, the app market will continue to expand, with a record amount of downloads and consumer expenditure across the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021. According to App Annie, global spending on iOS and Google Play will reach $135 billion in 2021, and when its annual report, which includes third-party app stores in China, is released the following year, the amount will probably be higher. According to the study, consumers installed about 140 billion new apps this year, 10 billion more than in 2020.

Highlights

  • Musk has already legally agreed to this deal, which means the battle will now move to court where Twitter says it plans to enforce the agreement at the price and terms agreed upon. And even if both parties agree to terminate, Musk will have to pay out a billion dollars as a termination fee.

  • Do you want This Week in Apps in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here: techcrunch.com/newsletters. The bird app buyout could be off, if Elon Musk has his way. On Friday, Musk’s legal team informed Twitter the Tesla and SpaceX exec would be terminating the merger agreement because, as their letter alleges, Twitter made false and misleading claims about the health of its business. This, of course, refers to the drama Musk had been stirring up over the percentage of bots on the service, which Twitter says is estimated to be less than 5%. Upon Musk’s earlier pressing for more information on this figure, Twitter provided Musk’s team with API access to make their own determinations. The letter, however, states that this API access was capped and limited, preventing the team from being able to accurately analyze Twitter’s data with regard to bots. (Which makes Musk’s claims that the bot count is higher than Twitter said it was a bit hard to prove!) Musk’s lawyers also allege Twitter included known fake and bot accounts in its mDAUs and didn’t have a standard process for calculating its mDAUs or the percentage of bots. Even if the arguments were valid — and that’s not able to be determined at this time — they don’t allow Musk to simply walk away.

The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

The real reason Musk is trying to terminate is not likely “bots.” It’s because he knows he overpaid. What looked like a decent deal earlier (@ $54.20 per share) quickly became an overpriced deal in a macroeconomic environment that’s led to tech stocks tanking. Since announcing the deal, Twitter’s stock hadn’t again hit the negotiated price, and in fact, was recently down as much as 28% below Musk’s offer price. By forcing the deal to go to the courts, Musk could be hoping for a shot at negotiating a better price. But that’s far from being a certain outcome.

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