Apple has been fined a record €1.1bn (£990m) by antitrust regulators in France for engaging in anti-competitive agreements with two wholesalers. The penalty imposed on the US tech giant is the largest ever handed out to a company by the Autorité de la Concurrence. The regulator alleged that Apple favored certain wholesalers more than others, allocating them more stock when new products were launched.
The French-based perfume maker LVMH recently announced plans to convert its cosmetics factories into hand sanitizer producers while distilleries in the U.S. are repurposing alcohol to make sanitizing solutions and giving them to customers for free. Companies that usually make liquor and perfume are shifting into hand sanitizer production as people seek ways to disinfect their palms in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jack Welch, a titan of American business who transformed General Electric (GE) into America’s most valuable company, has died aged 84. He ran the US conglomerate from 1981 until 2001, and was once named “manager of the century” for his achievements. Nicknamed “Neutron Jack” for his cost-cutting, he became a best selling author and confidante of US presidents.
Nissan is suing Carlos Ghosn for $90m (£70m), stepping up the legal battle against its former chairman after his arrest and dramatic flight from Tokyo to Lebanon. The Japanese carmaker said it was seeking to recover costs from Ghosn’s “corrupt” actions, including the personal use of private jets, using residential property without paying rent and making payments to his sister and personal lawyer using company accounts.
SoftBank profits have been almost entirely wiped out, as the company continues to feel the pain from big losses in its massive tech fund. The Japanese tech conglomerate on Wednesday reported operating income of 2.59 billion yen ($23.6 million) for the three months ended in December, a plunge of 99% compared to the same period a year earlier. SoftBank (SFTBF) founder and CEO Masayoshi Son’s closely watched $100 billion Vision Fund was the biggest driver of those losses.
A wanted notice was delivered to Lebanese authorities on Thursday by Interpol for Carlos Ghosn, three days after the former head of Nissan jumped bail in Japan and surreptitiously fled to Beirut via Turkey. In addition, seven people suspected of being accomplices in Ghosn’s escape to Lebanon have been detained in Turkey. Lebanese Justice Minister Albert Serhan says Ghosn may be called in for questioning.
Disgraced businessman Carlos Ghosn said Tuesday he had escaped Japan and arrived in Lebanon, raising questions about how he fled months before trial. Ghosn had been under “strict surveillance” by authorities in Japan and had surrendered his passports while on bail. “I have not fled justice, I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” the former Nissan chief said in a statement.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA have reached a binding agreement over their roughly $50 billion merger that will reshape the global car industry. France’s PSA and Italian-American Fiat Chrysler (FCA), which are yet to decide on a name for their new company, will now start work on delivering their pledge to cut costs by 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion) a year without closing factories.
The co-founders of Google are stepping down as executives of its parent company, Alphabet, ending a remarkable two decades during which Larry Page and Sergey Brin shaped a startup born in a Silicon Valley garage into one of the largest, most powerful companies in the world. Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as CEO for more than four years, will take on additional duties as Alphabet’s CEO, the position held by Page.
Shares in Alibaba jumped more than 6 percent in their Hong Kong trading debut, after the technology group raised more than $11bn against a backdrop of simmering anti-government unrest in the Asian financial hub. Five years ago Alibaba raised $25bn in New York in what was the world’s biggest initial public offering. The secondary listing will make it easier for investors in China and elsewhere in Asia to trade the shares.