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FAANG Report: Japan seeking to end smartphone bundling which may hit Apple; Google sued over location data

Facebook is working on a killer to Amazon Echo and Google Home called Aloha
Apple smartphone.
Apple's smartphone bundling practices in Japan under threat.

Japan is aiming to force wireless carriers to slash their monthly fees and halt the practice of bundling the cost of smartphones with wireless services, in a move seen hitting Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Reuters reported. An end to bundling could affect dominant player Apple’s iPhone sales as consumers opt for cheaper devices, the report said.

Shares of Apple were down 0.3% to US$214.74.

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly working on a killer to the Amazon's Echo and Google Home assistant that is codenamed Aloha, a report by TheNextWeb.com said.  Aloha would pair a video chat service with an AI assistant. Rumors have swirled for years about a Facebook-built “Echo killer,” according to DigiTimes.

Facebook stock was trading up slightly to US$173.41.

READ: Facebook misses on revenue and daily active users as scandals take their toll

Streaming giant Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) is testing in 33 countries a payment method that would allow it to bypass Apple's iTunes and log payments details directly with Netflix, Techcrunch.com reported. New or lapsed subscribers in selected markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia will not be able to pay using iTunes and would be diverted to Netflix.

Netflix stock climbed almost 4% to US$340.74.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ;AMZN) is ending its 20% Prime discount on preorders of video games and replacing it with a US$10 credit program, the Verge reported. Amazon is discontinuing the two-year-old program. The credit plan to replace it though will only be for select titles.

Shares of Amazon added nearly 1% to US$1,893.13.

READ: Google hit with record €4.3bn fine from European regulators over Android operating system

Alphabet Inc's Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is facing a lawsuit over its collection of location data even when users specifically turned off its location services, CNET reported. The lawsuit was filed by Google user Napoleon Patacsil, accusing the company of falsely representing that activating certain settings will prevent the tracking of a user's location.

Google shares gained slightly to US$1,213.91.

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