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France plans privatisation law in asset sale push – PM

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The government outlined last year plans to sell stakes in order to finance a 10 billion euro (£8.9 billion) innovation fund. It has since reduced its minority stakes in energy group Engie and car maker Renault, and there has been speculation that Paris airport operator ADP and national lottery firm Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) are in line to be privatised. “There have already been some (asset sales) and there will be more,” Philippe said in an interview with Sunday paper JDD. Asked if the government would present a privatisation bill, a neces... Read More »

Apple should address youth phone addiction, say two large investors

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Jana, a leading activist shareholder, and CalSTRS, one of the nation’s largest public pension plans, delivered a letter to Apple on Saturday asking the company to consider developing software that would allow parents to limit children’s phone use, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Sunday. Jana and CalSTRS also asked Apple to study the impact of excessive phone use on mental health, according to the publication. CalSTRS and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Jana and CalSTRS together control about $2 billion (£1... Read More »

UK companies will face huge new VAT burden after Brexit

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More than 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay VAT upfront for the first time on all goods imported from the European Union after Brexit, under controversial legislation to be considered by MPs on Monday. The VAT changes spelled out in the taxation (cross-border trade) bill – one of a string of Brexit laws passing through parliament – are causing uproar among UK business groups, which say that they will create acute cashflow problems and huge additional bureaucracy. Labour and Tory MPs and peers said that the only way to avoid the VAT Brexit ... Read More »

Mark Zuckerberg vows to ‘fix’ Facebook

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Mr Zuckerberg has famously set himself challenges every year since 2009. Facebook launched in 2004. Social media firms have come under fire for allowing so-called fake news ahead of US and other elections to spread. Facebook in particular has been criticised for allowing Russia-linked political ads in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential vote. Mr Zuckerberg said he intended to focus on "important issues", which he listed as "protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that t... Read More »

London to host self-curated Azzedine Alaïa exhibition next spring

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Aretrospective on Azzedine Alaïa will open at the Design Museum in London next spring. Azzedine Alaïa: the Couturier will run for five months from 10 May and include more than 60 couture pieces from the Tunisian fashion designer’s 35-year body of work. Alaïa, who died last month of heart failure, had been working with the museum’s guest curator, Mark Wilson, on the exhibition, selecting rare pieces from his archive and providing documentation of his creative process. The Paris-based designer was widely celebrated for his ability to cut, f... Read More »

Surf wear brand Billabong bought by Quiksilver owner

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The deal is a lifeline for the troubled firm, which has only turned a profit in one of the past five years. Queensland-based Billabong suffered a $58m wipeout last year, triple its loss for 2016. The company sells clothing under eight different brands and sponsors surf events around the world. Boardriders was formerly known as Quiksilver, and still sells clothing under its original name. It is owned by US private equity fund Oaktree Capital Management, which was already a major Billabong investor. Well-established in both skiing and skateboardi... Read More »

Meltdown and Spectre: All Macs, iPhones and iPads affected

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It emerged this week that tech companies have been racing to fix the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, that could allow hackers to steal data. Apple said it had already released some patches but there was no evidence that the vulnerability had been exploited. But it advised downloading software only from trusted sources to avoid "malicious" apps. Mac users have often believed that their devices and operating systems are less vulnerable to security issues than, for example Android phones or computers running Microsoft systems. But the Meltdown and Spec... Read More »

Apple could easily buy Netflix Now, but here’s why it would be a surprising move

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With the newly passed tax cuts, Apple Inc. (AAPL) has an embarrassing amount of cash at its disposal. Among the uses for its windfall, Citigroup Inc. suggested in a recent note that the company could turbocharge its video strategy, which has struggled at times, by purchasing Netflix Inc. (NFLX) . Shares of Netflix gained about 4.8% to $201.07 on Tuesday, amid speculation about the company's fate and an upgrade from Macquarie Capital.  The gains put Neflix's market cap at just over $87 billion. Even if Apple paid a 20% takeover premium, the r... Read More »

Macron proposes anti-fake news election law

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Emmanuel Macron has said he will overhaul media law in France this year to fight the spread of  "fake news" on social media. Since he was elected last year, the French President has criticized Russian media in particular, openly accusing TV channel RT of sowing disinformation about him via its website and social media during the presidential election. "If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must have strong legislation," Mr Macron told a news conference on Wednesday. Mr Macron said the legislation would concern social media platforms,... Read More »

Apple leads race to become world’s first $1tn company

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The race is on to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, with all eyes fixed on tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Financial commentators and investors predict 2018 will herald the first firm with a stock market valuation of $1tn (£738bn) or more, if technology share prices continue to rise as strongly as in 2017. Apple is leading the way, with a market valuation of $869bn on Tuesday, a figure arrived at by multiplying the company’s share price by the number of shares in circ... Read More »

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