Business And Finance

The European Commission goes after Google again

IN 2001—aeons ago in internet time—the European Commission sent a sternly worded missive to Microsoft. It accused the software maker of having illegally extended its dominance in operating systems for personal computers (PCs) into adjacent markets, for instance by tying Windows to programs that play music and videos. The legal action lasted more than a decade and took many turns, ...

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OPEC’s talks on curbing oil production come to nothing

BETS that Brent crude would continue to rally were at their highest level since 2011, according to Deutsche Bank, when news came on April 17th of the collapse of talks in Qatar aimed at freezing output. The can-do prognoses that had preceded the meeting had beguiled speculators, who were caught out when it became clear that Saudi Arabia, Russia and ...

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A plane collides with a drone at Heathrow airport

IT WAS last year that consumer drones really took off. Around the world, perhaps 1m of the unmanned robots flew off the shelves in 2015. Now, any visit to the park feels incomplete without high-pitched whining overhead. So it was to no one’s surprise when British Airways reported yesterday that it believed that one of its planes had hit a ...

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Scales dropped

ONCE upon a time record-industry executives could all but weigh their profits on scales. Each pallet of compact discs (CDs) they sold translated into predictable quantities of cash for them and, second, for singers and songwriters. In 1999, the year the music-sharing service Napster was founded, wholesale revenues in the industry peaked at $23.7 billion. Then they began a slide ...

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The green light

Vulture on a high ARGENTINA’S exit from default is finally in sight. On April 13th, more than 14 years on from a catastrophic $82 billion sovereign default, a federal appeals court in New York upheld a ruling that allows the country to pay its “holdout” creditors, holders of its defaulted debt who rejected restructurings in 2005 and 2010. That paves ...

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Who next?

Even paradise has its laws THE travails of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm from which a trove of documents about offshore firms it had helped create was recently leaked, intensified on April 12th, when prosecutors raided its head office. But as the firm defends itself, campaigners for financial transparency are already looking for other Mossacks and other Panamas. Mossack ...

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The toll of tariffs

Too much rolling in the hay ECONOMISTS have long argued that tariffs are bad for a country’s development in the long run. They raise prices for consumers, steer capital away from the most productive investments and breed inefficiency and rent-seeking by limiting competition from abroad. To that long list add another baleful consequence: by coddling farmers, agricultural tariffs encourage them ...

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