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Apple today confirmed earlier rumors that it plans to shut down re-opened stores in four states.  Impacted locations include six stores in Arizona, two in Florida, another two in North Carolina and one in South Carolina.

“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement to TechCrunch.

It’s been just over a month since the company began to reopen a handful of locations, as states began wider reopening efforts. The company implemented several safeguards, including mask requirements, temperature checks and enforced social distancing, as well as extended cleaning efforts.

“These are not decisions we rush into,” Retail SVP Deirdre O’Brien wrote at the time, “and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.”

One imagines the company will approach re-re-opening the same way. However, several states have posted increases in COVID-19 cases since government began the process of reopening. Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Nevada, Oregon and Texas have all posted record high infection rates in the past week. Given the uncertain nature of the virus’s spread, it seems likely this won’t be the last time Apple and other retailers have to reverse course. 

 

The following locations will be closed, beginning tomorrow,

Florida
  • Waterside Shops
  • Coconut Point
North Carolina
  •  Southpark
  • Northlake Mall
South Carolina
  • Haywood Mall
Arizona
  • Chandler Fashion Center
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square
  • Arrowhead
  • SanTan Village
  • Scottsdale Quarter
  • La Encantada

More information on specific stores can be found on Apple’s site.


TechCrunch

Fifty attorneys general are pushing forward with an antitrust investigation against Google, led by the Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In an announcement on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building, Paxton and a gathering of attorneys general said that the focus of the investigation would be on Google’s advertising practices, but that other points of inquiry could be included in the investigation.

The investigation into Google comes as big technology companies find themselves increasingly under the regulatory microscope for everything from anticompetitive business practices to violations of users’ privacy and security, to accusations of political bias.

Last week, the New York State Attorney General launched an investigation into Facebook.

Action from the states follows movement from the federal government which is investigating just about every major technology company including Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.

This story is developing.


TechCrunch

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