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FAANG Report: Apple probed in Japan for anti-competitive behavior; Facebook's Instagram hacked

Netflix shares are lower, while an Instagram hack isn't helping shares of parent Facebook either

Apple logo on building
A quick overview of the latest news for the five most-popular tech stocks

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is under investigation in Japan for anti-competitive behavior while a number of users of Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ:FB) Instagram were hacked with a domain name that seemingly originated from Russia.

The Nikkei Asian review reported that Apple is being probed in Japan for anti-competitive behavior. It said Japan is investigating allegations that pressure from Apple forced Yahoo Japan to pull back from a game platform that competes with the App Store, Nikkei has learned.

The publication said Japan's Fair Trade Commission and the industry ministry began receiving reports from Yahoo last fall about issues surrounding its Game Plus platform.

The web-based service, launched in July 2017, lets users play games without needing to download apps. For developers, the service features much looser restrictions surrounding sales, fees and software updates than Apple's App Store.

On a separate matter, CNBC reported that Apple is exploring a custom processor that can make better sense of health information coming off sensors from deep inside its devices, job listings show.

Apple shares were trading in New York up 0.03% to US$209.80. 

READ: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway loads up on Apple, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Goldman Sachs

Facebook's Instagram was hit by a report that several users had been hacked and it seems the people who did so were from Russia.

Mashable reported that according to data from analytics platform Talkwalker, there have been more than 5,000 tweets from 899 accounts mentioning Instagram hacks just in the last seven days. The username and profiles of users were changed with a domain originating from Russia.

Facebook shares were down 1.6% to US$178.18 late in the session.

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), on the other hand, is flipping the model for making television shows. It plans to pay more up front but keeping more later on big hits, insiders in the network said.

CNBC reported that what Neflix will be doing is different from how networks typically license shows, which often only covers 60% to 70% of production. In the traditional setup, the production company retains the majority of the rights, giving them the opportunity to make money in the future if the show is a hit.

Many users are lured by Netflix because the company has treated its producers well and lets them make the show they want without interference, CNBC said in its report. 

Netflix stock fell 3.4% to US$325.98 in late trade.

READ: Amazon.com Inc. saw its 2017 UK corporation tax bill almost halved despite a near-trebling of profits

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is poised to follow Apple as the next company to have a market cap of US$1 trillion, the Investor's Business Daily reported.

The current market valuation of the company is around US$920bn. The report said the strength of Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing unit, should push the company's value over the US$1 trillion finish line.

Amazon shares retreated 1.8% to US$1,885.19.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was struck by an Associated Press report that Google services on iPhone and Android devices were storing a user's location information even if the user explicitly enabled a privacy setting to prevent the search giant from doing that.

Google will let you pause the location services in a setting called Location History, the report added.

Alphabet's Google shares were off 1.8% to US$1,219 in late trade on Wednesday.


Contact Rene Pastor at [email protected]

Quick facts: Facebook Inc

Price: 196.77 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $560.88 billion

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