Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 7/02/2013 2:21 pm

French competition authorities have confirmed that investigators raided Apple stores across France last week as part of an ongoing probe. Autorite de la Concurrence spokesman Yannick Le Droze confirmed a report in French business daily Les Echos that first disclosed the investigation, but declined to answer questions about the reasons behind the probe. Apple representatives in France did not return phone calls seeking comment. According to Les Echos, authorities are investigating Apple's relationships with its distributors. An Apple distributor called eBizcuss, which went out of business last year, has reportedly filed complaints with the competition watchdog accusing Apple of favoring its own stores at the expense of independent distributors.

A New York judge has refused to dismiss the state attorney general's lawsuit claiming back sales taxes and triple damages from Sprint. State Supreme Court Justice O. Peter Sherwood says the state has a valid basis for claims under state tax law, which imposes a 4 percent tax on aggregated mobile communications services. The suit seeks $100 million in unpaid taxes since 2005 and the damages. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Sprint Nextel Corp. has improperly withheld about 25 percent of its monthly access fees for mobile calling plans from taxation based on the theory it doesn't owe taxes on the interstate portion. Sprint said Monday that it will appeal and fight for New York consumers already paying some of the nation's highest wireless taxes.

Groupon's quirky former CEO, Andrew Mason, has been working hard on a new album, "Hardly Workin,'" since he was ousted from the troubled online deals company in February. The seven-song album drops business knowledge on listeners with tracks such as "The Way to Work," ''My Door is Always Open" and the hip-hop influenced "Stretch." The latter begins "we all know that you gotta have goals every quarter." Groupon's failure to meet such goals was part of the reason Mason was fired. Mason calls the album "motivational business music." It's available for $9.99 on iTunes and it's streamed on Spotify. Here's the opening line: "If you're seeking business wisdom, you don't need no MBA, look no further than the beauty that surrounds us every day." And it goes on from there.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II players can now wreak vengeance with new downloadable content for Xbox Live. The Vengeance DLC gives players four new multiplayer maps (Cove, Detour, Rush and Uplink) along with a new zombie map (Buried) and a new weapon for the zombie maps, the Ray Gun Mark II. This is the third DLC pack for the popular Black Ops II game from Treyarch. The Vengeance DLC will be released on other platforms at a later date.

App Store Official Charts for the week ending July 1, 2013:

Top Paid iPhone Apps:

1. WhatsApp Messenger (WhatsApp Inc.)
2. Where's My Mickey? (Disney)
3. Minecraft - Pocket Edition (Mojang)
4. Heads Up! (Warner Bros.)
5. Facetune (Lightricks Ltd.)
6. SpongeBob Moves In (Nickelodeon)
7. AfterLight (Simon Filip)
8. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage (Rovio Stars Ltd.)
9. Kick the Buddy: No Mercy (Crustalli)
10. Contra: Evolution (PunchBox Studios)

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. Despicable Me: Minion Rush (Gameloft)
2. Candy Crush Saga, ( Limited)
3. Escape If You Can (Kaarel Kirsipuu)
4. Sprinkle: Water splashing fire fighting fun! (Mediocre AB)
5. Battery Saver - Boost your happy hour (KS Mobile Inc.)
6. Can You Escape (Kaarel Kirsipuu)
7. Monsters University: Catch Archie (Disney)
8. Instagram (Burbn Inc)
9. Snapchat (Snapchat Inc.)
10. Vine (Vine Labs Inc.)

Top Paid iPad Apps:

1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition (Mojang)
2. Toca Builders (Toca Boca AB)
3. Monsters University: Catch Archie (Disney)
4. SpongeBob Moves In (Nickelodeon)
5. Where's My Mickey? XL (Disney)
6. Dora's Great Big World HD (Nickelodeon)
7. Plants vs. Zombies HD (PopCap)
8. Doc McStuffins: Time For Your Check Up! (Disney)
9. Survivalcraft (Igor Kalicinski)
10. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage (Rovio Stars Ltd.)

Top Free iPad Apps:

1. Despicable Me: Minion Rush (Gameloft)
2. Can You Escape (Kaarel Kirsipuu)
3. Candy Crush Saga, ( Limited)
4. Sprinkle: Water splashing fire fighting fun! (Mediocre AB)
5. Secret Passages: Hidden Objects (Pocket Gems Inc.)
6. Monsters University: Catch Archie (Disney)
7. Hair Salon - Fun Kids games (George CL)
9. Design It! - Outfit Maker for Fashion Girls Makeover : Dress Up , Make Up and Tailor (TabTale LTD)
10. YouTube (Google Inc.)
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