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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has handed Fortnite maker Epic a crushing defeat in its antitrust suit against Apple’s App Store policies. 

Apple is using settlements to preserve its model, though both it and Google are exposed to new legislation. 

Google still faces trial by Epic; its Android licensing agreements are its Achilles' heel. 

Francois said "Amazon has had a very pragmatic approach to [sports TV rights] and so far their spending has only been going in one direction, and that is up. Across countries they have been increasing their exposure and buying more important rights."

"Will [the US Open final] change their view in the UK market? No. Tennis works very well for Amazon, not because it triggers subscription sales for Tennis coverage, but because it is a big event that draws awareness of the broader Prime service so people will buy more products."

European mobile growth was essentially zero year-on-year—a significant improvement thanks to annualisation of the pandemic but there is little evidence of the reversal of its negative impacts.

Italy saw the biggest improvement in its underlying trend as the pandemic continued to suppress Iliad’s momentum, while elevated competitive tension in Spain and France ate into their annualisation boost.

Mobility and flight data suggests that Q3 will evidence a bigger boost from renewed travel than in Q2—positive for roaming revenues—but that the improvement in mobility will be weaker than in the June quarter.

The rumoured BBC licence fee settlement (with rises below inflation) may result in a real term annual shortfall of c. £481 million by 2027

The worst mooted scenarios of decriminalisation or absolute cuts to the licence fee have been avoided (for now)

A smaller BBC will have knock-on effects in the wider TV ecology, with fewer economic benefits flowing to the creative economy and a dilution of local content


Francois said the markets make a bitter observation: consumption on fixed and mobile networks is soaring, but the incomes of operators are hopelessly stagnating, due to the fierce competition that reigns. "It is the consumer who wins."

And nothing seems to help. “Investors were betting on several catalysts: consolidation, 5G, fiber monetization… list Carlos Winzer, senior vice president at Moody's. For the moment, none has produced the desired effects. And the Stock Exchange does not have the patience to wait. The generous dividends paid by some operators to limit the damage are not enough."

Francois said "Soccer is a very solid business in absolute terms, in Europe there is no real competitor for it, and the quality of the spectacle is possibly as good as ever."

He added "Ten years from now there will be millions of fans willing to spend money on football, and there will be video services willing to spend billions to broadcast the games, and advertisers willing to stick their names on their jerseys. I'm not sure you can say the same of many other sectors of the entertainment."


Free roaming in several countries around the world was an appealing differentiator for H3G when it launched Go Roam in 2013. Soaring usage and the imperative to establish a sustainable business model have conspired to bring an end to this.

The pricing is similar to BT/EE and Vodafone plans for the EU, but the timing and detail is different, and a package will continue to be available for the other worldwide countries on the 'Go Roam Around the World' plan.

The reintroduction of EU roaming fees is somewhat inevitable as current arrangements leave operators exposed to up to €75 of monthly wholesale charges, and even more as legacy EU wholesale deals expire.

Joseph said there is ample evidence of the financial benefits of charging commissions. In 2019, Google’s parent, Alphabet, drew an estimated 20 per cent of operating profits from Play, even though it was just 10 per cent of revenue. Apple bundles the App Store into “services”, a category that accounts for one-fifth of revenue, one-third of gross profit margin, and almost all margin growth.