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Apple acquires popular weather app Dark Sky

March 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Apple has acquired the popular weather app Dark Sky in a move that could turn the iPhone and smartwatch maker into the exclusive provider of an app known for its minute-by-minute weather updates.

(CNN Business)Apple has acquired the popular weather app Dark Sky in a move that could turn the iPhone and smartwatch maker into the exclusive provider of an app known for its minute-by-minute weather updates.

The acquisition, which Apple (AAPL) confirmed to CNN Business on Tuesday, will mean the end of Dark Sky's apps for Google's Android and Wear OS, according to a Dark Sky blog post.

As of Tuesday, Dark Sky's Android app has been downloaded more than a million times.

But the news that Apple will shut down those apps on July 1 suggests the company intends to make Dark Sky exclusive to its walled garden ecosystem.

That feature allows third-party app developers to access and use Dark Sky's weather data in their own apps.

That decision could affect platforms such as the Amazon (AMZN) Echo, where unaffiliated apps like Big Sky have tapped into Dark Sky's weather data to mimic the functionality the company provides on iOS and Android.

But Apple's decision to limit Dark Sky's API comes at a time of intense scrutiny of tech platforms.

Apple didn't respond to multiple requests for an explanation as to why it will be terminating support for the Dark Sky API and the Google-affiliated apps.

Sally Hubbard, an antitrust expert and tech critic at the Open Markets Institute, said the Dark Sky deal is likely to be small enough to avoid federal reporting requirements by Apple.

Charlotte Slaiman, an antitrust expert at the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, said restrictions limiting access to Dark Sky or its API might not be deemed anti-competitive if enough competing weather apps can replicate its most valuable functions.

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