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Data Sheet—Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015, 12:04 PM UTC

Welcome to the new workweek, Data Sheet readers. I’m catching up after a long weekend on the back of a motorcycle, so just a few notes to get us all started on a lovely summer Monday. Rumors are flying about a potential split-up of Advanced Micro Devices. More details are emerging about the European Union’s antitrust case against Google. Plus Taylor Swift’s crusade to make sure independent musicians receive royalties during Apple Music’s free trial did not fall on deaf ears.


Taylor Swift takes on Apple, and wins. The powerful pop songstress took to Twitter and Tumblr to criticize the company’s plan not to pay artists royalties during the free three-month trial period of Apple Music. "Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing," Swift wrote in her open letter. Just as notable: she threatened to withhold her latest album from the service because of the policy. Apple quickly heeded her words.


What does Google stand to lose in the European antitrust case? In theory, the fines could be at least $6.5 billion, although such a scenario is unlikely, reports The New York Times. The “charge sheet” against the Internet giant, more than 100 pages long, takes particular issue with the way the search giant’s algorithms rank rival comparison-shopping services. Google has until the end of June to reply formally to the EU’s charges.

As if the company’s lawyers didn’t have enough to worry about: more governments are trying to censor Google search results—not just on country-specific sites but across the entire Internet.

Speaking of censorship, Facebook’s policy is less transparent than it needs to be—especially now that it’s trying to get into the news business.

Tongues are wagging over a potential AMD breakup. But a spokeswoman for the chipmaker refutes a Reuters report suggesting that it has hired a consultant to explore a split.

Listen up, Amazon and Target. Two of Walmart’s latest initiatives in what could be an epic three-way e-commerce battle include leveraging 80 local “super centers” as distribution hubs (that's almost as large as Amazon's footprint) and orchestrating same-day pickups.


Can gaming companies remain independent within tech giants? Dell’s handling of Alienware apparently bucks a mostly negative trend. “Dell’s been great about giving us the freedom to run off and do these experiments,” the division’s chief executive, Frank Azor, told Fortune.

Vladmir Putin’s data protection scheme could cost Russia close to $6 billion, as foreign businesses think twice about locating offices there. He wants all data stored within the country’s borders.

Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is disclosing more data on its diversity record, as part of its plan to advance and retain more female talent.

Want to sell to Chinese consumers? Alibaba may be downplaying U.S. competition with Amazon and eBay, but its close relative, Alipay, isn’t shy about taking on PayPal and other digital wallet services.

Apple and IBM go back to school, with the latest product stemming from their mobile partnership.

Here’s some insight into the way Amazon is changing its product review system.

In-flight Wi-Fi isn’t taking off as quickly as anticipated. That hasn’t discouraged the likes of Panasonic, a leader in equipment deployments on planes. It could have 14,000 aircraft on its networks within a decade, five times the current number, reports The Wall Street Journal.



Apple didn’t make MIT’s 50 smartest companies list by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

As Fitbit stock soars, what’s next for the wearable firm by Jason Cipriani

Bloomberg has to decide what it wants to be when it grows up by Mathew Ingram

Twitter wants to be a shopping destination by Benjamin Snyder

With layoffs at Leeo and Wink for sale, is the smart home crumbling? by Stacey Higginbotham

Pelosi says it’s immoral that millions of kids can’t access digital learning by Katie Fehrenbacher


Why it won’t kill Uber to treat drivers like employees.


Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 - 15; Aspen, Colorado)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 - 19; Seattle)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 - 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: Splunk's "get your data on" gathering. (Sept. 21 - 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 - 24; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 - 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 - 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 - 8; Orlando, Florida)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World's largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 - 16; Houston)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 - 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference 2015: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 - 29; Chicago)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 - 4; San Jose, California)