The week’s news included; Tesla settles lawsuit over fatal autopilot crash, Nail techs could breach competition law with “National Price Increase Day”, TikTok plotting photo app to challenge Instagram.

Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our twitter page, Facebook page and Instagram 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: 

  • City A.M. – Why environmentalists should worry about the ECHR’s Swiss climate ruling
  • BBC News – Bank of England: ‘Serious deficiencies’ in economy forecasts, review finds
  • City A.M. – The Notebook: Afraid of the big bad wealth tax? You shouldn’t be
  • CNBC – Why car insurance costs are skyrocketing and leading to higher inflation

1. APPLE FACING £785M UK ANTITRUST CASE  

Apple is facing a huge £785 million class action lawsuit in the UK. Last week, a tribunal rejected Apple’s attempt to throw out the lawsuit. Over 1500 UK app developers claim that Apple holds an unfair monopoly over the market. Apple’s 15-30% commission on in-app purchases along with other restrictions constitute anti competitive behaviour, according to the developers. Apple had sought to have the lawsuit thrown out but the Competition Appeal Tribunal considered that the claim had a “realistic prospect” of success. The case will now be heard by the tribunal. Apple was faced with a similar lawsuit in the US and ultimately reduced its charges (see previous top 10).

2. TESLA SETTLES AUTOPILOT CRASH LAWSUIT

Tesla has agreed to settle a lawsuit over a fatal crash. The autopilot feature in its Model X vehicle sent a driver into a highway barrier in the US, killing the driver. The settlement figure was not disclosed. The family of the driver had sued Tesla and the case was about to go to trial. Tesla claimed the driver misused the autopilot feature by playing a video game on the car before the accident. The family argued however, the system was faulty and was responsible for the death. Ultimately, Tesla did not want the added scrutiny of its systems that would come with a court case and settled the dispute. This case comes amid a slump in delivery figures for Tesla in Q1. Tesla shares are down roughly 30% since the start of 2024.

3. TSMC INVESTS IN NEW US CHIP FACTORY

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is building a new factory in the US. The US is ramping up domestic semiconductor chip production amid growing pressure to reduce reliance on Chinese goods.  The government hopes to expand domestic production by 20% by 2030. Intel recently secured an agreement to receive up to $8.5 billion to boost its US chip production. TSMC will receive $6.6 billion in subsidies and up to $5 billion in loans from the US government. TSMC’s new factory will be built in Arizona and will create 6000 tech jobs and 20000 construction jobs. This will be TSMC’s third US factory and will increase its US investment by $25 billion to $65 billion. 

4. PUIG SEEKING €2.5BN IN IPO

The owner of Charlotte Tilbury, Puig, is launching its IPO and is seeking to raise €2.5 billion. Puig owns 14 different brands including Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier. The Spanish beauty conglomerate will list on the Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges. Upon listing the group could achieve a huge €10 billion valuation. This would mark the largest beauty IPO in years. 

5.  X FACING INQUIRY IN BRAZIL OVER BANNED ACCOUNTS

Elon Musk’s X is facing an inquiry in Brazil over the reactivation of banned accounts on X (formerly Twitter). Justice Alexandres Moraes, a Brazilian Supreme Court judge, said certain accounts were obligated to be banned by the courts. X reinstated such accounts after Elon Musk’s takeover but now the court has ordered them to be banned again. Failure to comply would see X hit with a 100,000 reais ($19,700) per day fine. X could even be blocked in Brazil. Musk however, hit back at the court claiming the court order to ban accounts was unconstitutional and breached Brazilian law. He even called for the Justice to be impeached. Many of the banned accounts were reportedly linked to far-right movements within Brazil.

6. BARCLAYS CHALLENGES COMMISSION COMPENSATION RULING

Barclays has launched a legal challenge against a ruling on its commission paid to a car finance broker. A customer was not informed of a £1600 commission to a car finance broker that was included in her car loan agreement with Barclays. A court found this commission was unfair and the bank had not acted “fairly or reasonably”. Barclays is now challenging the decision as this case could open the floodgates for thousands of claims of this nature. Barclays claims this was an isolated incident but is undoubtedly nervous that this could spill into an industry wide compensation claim.  

7. TIKTOK TO LAUNCH PHOTO APP

TikTok is creating a photo-sharing app to challenge Instagram. The tech giant is moving to launch a “TikTok Notes” app which offers space for images and text. There is no confirmed release date or final design but it is in progress.  Social media giants are persistently copying concepts from competitors. These projects have had mixed success. Instagram copied its Stories from Snapchat in 2018 and it was so successful it almost knocked Snapchat out. Twitter attempted its own version in 2021, Fleets, but this failed and was removed. Whether TikTok’s app can be a success remains to be seen. 

8. NAIL TECHS FACING COMPETITION CLAMPDOWN

Nail technicians are facing a potential competition clampdown over their “National Nail Price Increase Day”. A campaign was launched to encourage all nail technicians to collectively raise their prices to bring wages up in the industry to a sustainable level. The organiser of the campaign claims workers are unable to earn a living wage and remain competitive. The UK Competition and Markets Authority picked up on the campaign and warned it may breach competition law. It is unlawful to collude to fix prices. The CMA has not launched a formal investigation but has contacted the organiser of the campaign. 

9. TESCO POSTS BUMPER PROFITS

Tesco has reported a huge boost in profits for the past year. The UK’s largest supermarket posted £2.3 billion in pre-tax profit last year, up from £882 million in 2022. Sales also rose to £68.2 billion. This comes in spite of moves by Tesco to cut prices. Around 4000 products were cheaper at the end of the year than at the start. Tesco boasts a 27.3% market share and has 330,000 employees. The supermarket recently lost its battle against Lidl to use its Clubcard Prices logo (see previous top 10). 

10. BIOFUEL COMPANY SIGNS WIZZAIR DEAL 

A UK based biofuel company has unveiled plans to turn excrement into plane fuel. Firefly has struck a deal with Wizz Air to provide 525,500 tons of biofuel to the airline over 15 years. Wizz Air hopes this fuel will power 10% of its flights by 2030. This fuel type has been dubbed sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and uses 70% less carbon than conventional plane fuel. It is, however, significantly more expensive. The excrement or biosolids will be provided by Anglian Water. Firefly aims to begin supplying SAF by 2028.