This week’s news includes; Amazon hits $1 trillion BA data breach affects 380,000, Nike’s Kaepernick ads divide opinion, EU clears Apple’s Shazam takeover
Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our twitter page and Facebook page for regular posts of important headlines. Get all the important stories and insights straight into your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.
Opinion articles of the week:
- Investopedia “JP Morgan analysts predict a replay of the 2008 financial crisis.”
- BBC News “Apple v Amazon: Battle of The Titans”
- Sky News “UK music industry sounds warning on bad Brexit deal”
1. AMAZON REACHES $1 TRILLION
Amazon’s market capitalisation reached $1 trillion last week. Share prices rose to $2050.50 on Tuesday bring the company’s value to this impressive figure.
What began as a bookstore only 24 years ago has now expanded into a solution provider in almost every sector. From the online retail sales to cloud computing and soon even healthcare, Amazon is taking over. Despite losing the title for first trillion dollar company to Apple, Amazon’s growth has been remarkable this year. In the first 6 months of 2018 alone, Amazon’s market cap rose by $260 billion. Amazon’s financial position keeps increasing rapidly. The online retailer posted $53 billion in sales last quarter and a $2.5 billion profit. This new market value puts Jeff Bezos’ net worth at over $160 billion. (CNN)
BBC News explains how Jeff Bezos took Amazon to the top
2. BA DATA BREACH
British Airways has announced that it suffered a malicious data breach in August, affecting 380,000 customers. CEO Alex Cruz describes it as a “sophisticated breach of the firm’s security systems”. It has been revealed that personal details including credit card information were compromised. Travel and passport details of customers were not stolen. Although BA claims it does not store credit card CVV numbers but attackers managed to intercept the details. There is a fear that stolen details may have already been put up for sale on the dark web.
BA has promised to compensate customers for any losses. In addition, with the introduction of GDPR BA could face heavy fines. GDPR introduces maximum fines of 4% of global annual turnover. For BA this could amount to £489 million. The National Crime Agency is also investigating the breach. (The Independent)
Check out our insight article explaining what GDPR is and what it introduced.
3. NIKE KAEPERNICK AD CAMPAIGN
Nike was shrouded in controversy last week after it launched a new advertising campaign featuring NFL Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was one of the first American football players to kneel rather than stand for the US National Anthem played before all NFL matches. He kneeled in protest to police brutality against African Americans. Many other players followed suit. This action received significant criticism, with even President Trump calling for them to be fired. Kaepernick has been without a team since 2017. Nike’s new ad campaign features Kaepernick with the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The campaign launched over the US Labor Day bank holiday weekend and received strong reactions on both sides. A twitter campaign to boycott Nike soon began. Some customers burnt Nike clothing or cut off the Nike swoosh. The negative reactions spooked investors as shares fell as nearly 4%. Despite this, sales over the weekend rose 31% as many customers admired and supported Nike’s campaign. (The Guardian)
4. EU CLEARS APPLE’s SHAZAM TAKEOVER
The EU has given approval for Apple’s £286m takeover of music recognition app Shazam. The deal raised significant competition concerns as Shazam currently offers connections to Apple Music’s rival Spotify. Critics claimed Apple could gain sensitive information about Spotify users through Shazam. Companies can ascertain data such as which songs perform best and in which regions.
The EU regulators however, disagreed as such databases with user trends are already accessible to Apple. In addition, Apple would not be able to restrict access to Spotify under the deal. Shazam is an app which allows users to identify any song using the device’s microphone. It currently has 150 million monthly active users. (Sky News)
5. MERCEDES’ ELECTRIC CAR
Mercedes is taking the electric car battle to Tesla. The world’s largest car manufacturer has unveiled a range of high end electric vehicles. It will invest $12 billion in its development of electric cars.
Mercedes hopes to challenge Tesla’s luxury model S. Despite the allure of Tesla’s brand, their competitors are moving fast. While Tesla is struggling to meet production targets, established automakers already have the infrastructure to dispatch their new electric models. They do not need to build new plants, merely adapt their current sites to allow for electric vehicle production.
Smart cars will soon abandon all combustion vehicles. Competition will be particularly fierce in the SUV and crossover categories. In addition to the Model X, which starts at about $85,000, the rivals include the coming e-tron and Jaguar Land Rover’s well-received $70,000 I-Pace.
6. SCALLOP WARS FAIL TO REACH TRUCE
Despite signs of a deal, Britain has failed to reach a deal with France over the so called “scalloped wars”. Earlier last week, the UK agreed a deal with France in principal to end the dispute. But the deal collapsed on Friday. Last month, French vessels collided with and attacked British vessels fishing for scallops, claiming they were overfishing in the Baie de Siena region. French fishermen took matters into their own hands and some British vessels were allegedly hit with smoke bombs and rocks.
French boats are banned from fishing in this region to protect the population but British ships face no such restrictions. A truce was called and UK vessels agreed not to fish in the area from May to October. This deal was however, on the basis that UK vessels would not lose out financially. Last Friday however, the deal collapsed as no agreement could be reached on the proposed compensation package. (Sky News)
7. EX-UBS TRADER FACES DEPORTATION
An ex-UBS trader who lost £1.4 billion through fraud could now face deportation. The fraudulent activity took place between 2008 and 2011. Kweku Adoboli booked fictitious trades to cover up losses incurred in numerous attempts to make huge profits. He told the jury that senior managers were aware of these actions and encouraged risk taking.
Adoboli was sentenced in 2012 and served four years of a seven year term. Foreign nationals who receive a four year sentence or longer are automatically considered for deportation. Adoboli was born in Ghana but has lived in the UK since age 12. He lost an appeal against the Home Office’s request to deport him. Many have come forward in support of Adoboli against his deportation. They argue he poses no threat to society and is highlighting the existing risks in the financial sector to others. (BBC News)
8. GAUCHO GIVEN SECOND CHANCE
Steak chain Gaucho has been rescued by a consortium of lenders. Lomo Bidco, a vehicle set up by Investec and SC Lowy has successfully won a bid for the company. Subject to a Company Voluntary Arrangement, all 16 Gaucho restaurants will be saved. The CVA is likely to include a request for reduced rents from landlords
The deal allows the company to dispose of its liabilities associated with Cau. Cau was Gaucho’s sister restaurant and collapsed in July. Casual dining has taken a huge hit this year. In 2018, Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian and Byron have all slashed jobs in an increasingly challenging market. (Sky News)
9. FUNDING CIRCLE IPO
Funding circle, a peer to peer lender has announced plans to launch an initial public offering. The company hopes to raise £300 million through the floatation. This latest round values the company at £2 billion. The company matches lenders to tens of thousands of small business borrowers, currently in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. The company made over £1 billion in loans in the first half of 2017.
The company had already listed a small fund on the London Stock Exchange but it will now list its own shares. Over 25% of issued shares listed on the London Stock Exchange will be available to the public. The money raised from the floatation will aid expansion into new markets. Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are acting as adviser to the IPO. (Sky News)
10. VIAGOGO SUES ED SHEERAN’S PROMOTER
Viagogo has sued Ed Sheeran’s promoter for allegedly defrauding fans. Viagogo claims that Kilimanjaro Live created fake Viagogo stalls during Ed Sheeran’s 2017 tours. Genuine tickets for resale were voided and fans were told to buy new official ones. CEO of Kilimanjaro Live, Stuart Galbraith’s claims these allegations are “completely false” Kilimanjaro Live has worked with artists such as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Craig David and Marilyn Manson.
This forms another step in a long running dispute between promoters and ticket resellers. Both sides alleged the other side is treating fans unfairly. Despite this, it’s the resellers who have come under increasing regulatory scrutiny. Two weeks ago the CMA filed a lawsuit against Viagogo due to alleged breaches of consumer protection law. Ticketmaster is to shut down ticket resale platforms SeatWave and GetMeIn in response to this wider crackdown. (BBC News)