The Fed is expected to cut rates Wednesday, but it is unlikely to tell markets what they want to hear on future rate cuts.Market Insiderread more
Pelosi said Trump should not have tried to address China's trade practices in a way that opened Americans up to financial pain.Politicsread more
The fallout from two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes has ensnared the manufacturer's most-loyal customer: Southwest Airlines. The carrier has canceled thousands of...Airlinesread more
Brent crude oil jumped the most in history in the previous session after attacks on Saudi's oil industry disrupted the kingdom's production.Marketsread more
In the survey, conducted after the third in the Democratic Party's series of debate, the former vice president draws 31% compared to 25% for the Massachusetts senator. At 14%,...2020 Electionsread more
Stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, but gains were capped as the Federal Reserve kicked off a two-day monetary policy meeting.US Marketsread more
The U.S. Air Force's top general says he hasn't received direction to send additional bombers to the Middle East after what is believed to be Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabian...Defenseread more
Facebook has partnered with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica to develop augmented-reality glasses code-named 'Orion', people familiar with the matter told CNBC.Technologyread more
"I believe the path to 'health care for all' is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells Jim Cramer.Health and Scienceread more
The pet food and product retailer posted net sales of $1.15 billion, topping estimates of $1.13 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Refinitiv.Retailread more
E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc.'s sales have been halted on two websites in China, just days after it launched in the world's biggest tobacco market.Biotech and Pharmaceuticalsread more
UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Director General Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri confirmed the talks this week, according to local news reports, citing Microsoft and Apple's growing investment plans in the UAE and the desire to forge closer relationships with tech companies as primary reasons.
Skype and FaceTime, as well as other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services like Whatsapp and Viber that allow free calling via an internet connection, are banned in the UAE, though their messaging platforms are not. Several other Middle Eastern countries including Qatar and Oman have Skype and FaceTime calling bans in place. Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on VoIP calling services last September.
In the UAE's case, the ban is in place because of the country's telecoms laws, which essentially allow a monopoly of the sector by its largest telecommunications companies, Etisalat and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (also know as Du).
Residents have to pay to use their calling services instead of being able to use the free internet ones, and often complain about high prices. Despite the bans, people are still sometimes able to use Skype and FaceTime, but frequently deal with glitches.
Many users and large businesses use VPNs to access the services. Analysts say lifting the ban will significantly help small and medium-sized enterprises.
Only at the start of 2018 did the government take more robust steps to fully block Skype. Apple's FaceTime is not available on iPhones sold in the UAE, but the app is said to generally work if used on phones purchased abroad. The talks will come as welcome news to many residents put off by steep calling costs.
"We have been working closely with the local authorities towards gaining a better understanding of the local requirements in an effort to get Skype unblocked," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "We are passionate about the benefits that Skype offers to our users around the world by facilitating communication and enabling collaboration."
An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
The UAE government, like many other Gulf states, often monitors its citizens' communications, and will likely try to access the information transmitted over the VoIP platforms if the bans are lifted. Encryption used in these platforms has been cited as a reason behind the ban, and January's crackdown on Skype came after Microsoft announced it would offer users end-to-end encryption.
The talks come as Microsoft rolls out plans to build two data centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai next year. They would be the software giant's first data centers in the Middle East. Company representatives told Gulf media outlets that Skype in the UAE could become a reality once the centers are built. Apple is also expanding its stores in UAE shopping malls.
First launched by a team of Swedes and Estonians in 2003, Skype was initially bought by Ebay in 2005 for $2.6 billion. Microsoft acquired the video calling service in 2011 for $8.5 billion.