The week’s news included; Google to face £13.6 billion lawsuit, McDonald’s loses exclusive rights to the “Big Mac”, Boohoo sued by shareholders over warehouse scandal, Monzo breaks even for the first time.

Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our X page, Facebook page, TikTok 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. – The car industry is wrong about private electric vehicle demand
  • Retail Gazette – Will Tesco Marketplace work second time around?
  • CNBC – The Covid-19 pandemic worsened a child care crisis, and it’s costing U.S. businesses billions
  • City A.M. – The Tiktok election: Can memes really move the polls?

1. GOOGLE FACING £13.6BN LAWSUIT

Google is facing a £13.6 billion lawsuit over allegations its uncompetitive practices harmed online publishers. Ad Tech Collective Action LLP brought the lawsuit against the tech giant, arguing that Google had too much power in the advertising market. Google has been allegedly  preferencing its own products and services over its rivals on its search function. Given Google’s dominance in the search space, this unfair practice has meant publishers pay higher fees and their ads are shown less frequently or prominently. Google h randles oughly 90% of global online searches. Google had sought to get the case thrown out but last week, the Competition Appeal Tribunal held that the case could go to trial. No court date has been set and this battle will undoubtedly take years to resolve 

2. MCDONALD’S LOSES BIG MAC CASE

McDonald’s has lost its exclusive right to use the name “Big Mac” when referring to chicken burgers in the EU. Irish fast food chain Supermac’s first brought the legal case forward  in 2017 after McDonald’s sued to block them from using the term Mac. The case made its way to the European Court of Justice who held that McDonald’s trademark covering the use of the word Mac was not enforceable. McDonald’s could not prove that it had used the term Mac in relation to any poultry products over the past five years. Supermac’s is now entitled to retain its name and use the term Mac as branding for its chicken products. McDonald’s still however, retains the exclusive right to use the name “Big Mac” in relation to its other products. 

3. AMAZON HIT WITH £1BN DATA PRIVACY LAWSUIT

Amazon has been hit by a £1 billion damages group action lawsuit. Sellers on its marketplace claim that the tech giant misused their data collected through the “Amazon Buy Box”. Amazon reportedly used their non-public data for their own commercial benefit without the retailers’ knowledge. The tech giant would use retailers’ data to make its own commercial decision on whether to enter a new market. The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) will file the claim on behalf of retailers at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). If successful, retailers could collectively be entitled to up to £1 billion. Amazon described the allegations as “baseless”.

4. BOOHOO SUED BY SHAREHOLDERS

Fashion retailer Boohoo is being sued by shareholders over its warehouse worker scandal. In 2020, a report allegedly exposed mistreatment of workers at its Leicester supplier warehouse. Workers were reportedly being paid as little as £3.50 per hour and were subjected to numerous workers’ rights violations. The scandal caused Boohoo’s share price to plummet. 49 shareholders are now suing the company for the losses they suffered as a result. Boohoo gave untrue or misleading statements regarding the issues to the market and breached its legal obligations. Investors are seeking damages plus interest and costs. The total amount sought in the legal action has not been disclosed.

5. US ECONOMY

The US economy is on the up as 272,000 jobs were added in May. This surpassed forecasts by nearly 100,000. US employers are in hiring mode despite increased borrowing costs due to high interest rates. The strong figures however, will dampen hopes of a rate cut. The Federal Reserve increases interest rates to slow high inflation which is caused by too much demand in the economy. Although US inflation sits at 3.4%, the strong job figures indicate that demand remains high and companies are hiring more workers to cope. Some analysts now don’t expect US rates to be cut before the end of 2024.

6. FIONA HARVEY SUES NETFLIX

Fiona Harvey, who allegedly inspired the character Martha in Netflix’s Baby Reindeer, is suing the platform for $170 million. Martha is a convicted stalker in the show and allegedly is based on a true story. Richard Gadd, the creator and protagonist in the show, based the show on his experience where he was stalked by a woman he met at the pub where he worked. Names, locations and dialogues were fictionalised for the show and neither Gadd or Netflix confirmed that Martha was inspired by Ms Harvey. Nonetheless, Ms Harvey claims the show portrays brutal lies about her. She is suing the platform in the California courts for defamation, negligence and privacy violations. Baby Reindeer is one of Netflix’s top rated shows with over 50 million views.

7. NVIDIA HITS $3TN

Nvidia has reached a $3 trillion market capitalisation after a rally. The tech company is at the forefront of the AI space and produces crucial microchips. It holds an 80% market share for AI chips for data centres. Sales have skyrocketed by 427% since last year. Last week, Nvidia’s shares price rose 5% and has risen 24% since May. Nvidia is now the second most valuable public company behind Microsoft. 

8. ECB CUTS INTEREST RATES

The European Central Bank has cut interest rates for the first time since 2019. Interest rates in the eurozone were cut by 0.25% to 3.75%. The Bank said that falling inflation in the region gave it comfort to reduce rates. The ECB expects inflation to average at 2.5% for 2024, very close to the 2% target. It was confirmed that rates will however, remain “sufficiently restrictive” in order to bring inflation down to the target. We are unlikely

9. MONZO BREAKS EVEN

Monzo has broken even for the first time in its history. The digital only bank was founded in 2015 but has never posted an annual profit until now. Monzo posted a pre-tax profit of £15.4 million in the year to March 2024. Revenue also doubled to £880 million. This comes after a funding round earlier this year in which the bank raised £490 million. Monzo is the UK’s largest digital bank with 9 million customers and is worth £4 billion. The company has now set its sights on entering the US market.

10. NHS HOSPITALS HIT BY CYBER ATTACK

NHS hospitals in London have been hit by a cyber attack. King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’, the Royal Brompton, the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and other services have all been affected. A ransomware attack disrupted some departments’ connection to the main server. A number of procedures had to be cancelled or changed as a result. Even blood test results could now take weeks. The incident has been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre. Due to the severe disruption, affected hospitals have called upon trainee doctors to help minimise disruption to patients. By the end of the week, the situation remains critical.