Apple Ends Epic’s Account, Meta Platforms Offline, Former Twitter Execs Sue Elon Musk

Hey, folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s newsletter covering all of — or at least the bulk of! This week, Roku played hardball with its customers, requiring them to consent to new dispute resolution terms. And Elon Musk, the CEO of X, sued OpenAI over allegedly “betraying” its nonprofit mission. NewsEpic takedown: Apple has terminated Epic Games’ App Store developer account, reportedly calling it a “threat” to the iOS ecosystem. Musk money: Four former Twitter executives, including ex-CEO Parag Agrawal, sued Musk on Monday, alleging that they’re owed over $128 million in severance payments.

Hello, readers! Welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s exclusive newsletter covering all the noteworthy occurrences in the tech world.

This week, customers of Roku faced some big changes as the streaming platform updated their terms of service. Users are now required to consent to new dispute resolution terms, which has caused quite a stir. Without agreeing to the terms (or opting out by sending a physical letter), users cannot access their devices. This means that any legal complaints against Roku must now go through the company’s lawyers first.

In other news, a leaky database has exposed two-factor authentication codes for tech giants like Facebook, Google, and TikTok. The database belonged to YX International, an Asian tech and internet company that handles millions of SMS text messages globally. The exposed security codes could have granted unauthorized access to users’ accounts.

Meanwhile, the CEO of X, Elon Musk, filed a lawsuit against OpenAI for allegedly “betraying” their nonprofit mission. OpenAI, which started as a nonprofit organization, transitioned into a “capped-profit” company managed by a nonprofit entity in 2019. Musk, who was a co-founder and early supporter of OpenAI, accuses CEO Sam Altman and president and co-founder Greg Brockman of prioritizing profit over the organization’s original goal of using AI for the betterment of humanity.

A lot more happened this week, and we will cover it all in this edition of WiR. But before we dive in, don’t forget to subscribe to receive our newsletter every Saturday.

News

Epic takedown: Apple has terminated Epic Games’ App Store developer account, citing the company as a “threat” to the iOS ecosystem. Epic and Apple have been embroiled in a long-standing dispute over the latter’s dominant position in the app economy.

Social media meltdown: On Tuesday, Facebook, Instagram, and Threads experienced a massive outage, causing chaos for its users. After restoring the services, Meta stated that the issue was a technical one, without providing further details.

Musk money: Four former Twitter executives, including former CEO Parag Agrawal, have sued Musk, claiming that they are owed more than $128 million in severance payments.

Data transfers unfettered: Following in the footsteps of Google, AWS has announced unrestricted free data transfers to other cloud providers. The move comes as a response to regulatory pressure surrounding cloud lock-in practices, leaving Microsoft Azure as the only provider without a similar offering.

Funding

AI worker: Ema, a new startup, has raised $25 million for its “universal AI employee.” The platform, designed for enterprise use, combines AI capabilities and human-like responses to handle customer service tasks, tech support, and more.

Analysis

Uninvestable startups: In a case study of unwise capital utilization, Haje discusses a Norwegian hardware startup that gave up more than two-thirds of its equity to raise $3.3 million. Such a move could render a company uninvestable, but all hope is not lost.

Podcasts

Equity: This week, the team talks about OpenAI’s battle with Musk and the latest happenings at VC firm OpenView. They also dissect the big funding round for online banking startup Monzo, a significant funding deal in the AI world, and the upcoming climate regulations.

Found: On this episode, Becca and Dom chat with Emilie Poteat, the founder of Advocate. Advocate provides tech-enabled services to help Americans access federal benefits programs.

Chain Reaction: Dee Goens, the co-founder of Zora, joins the show to talk about Zora’s platform and protocol for developers and creators to bring their ideas to the blockchain and Ethereum in a shared environment.

Bonus round

Udacity exit: This week, Accenture announced its acquisition of learning platform Udacity for a reported $80 million. This is significantly below the $300 million that Udacity has raised since its inception in 2011, as reported by Ron.

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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