Connect with us

internet

Google Protests 'Eye-Catching' $2.6 Billion EU Fine, Judge Disagrees

Published

on

Google on Friday attacked what it called an eye-catching EUR 2.4 billion ($2.6 billion or roughly Rs. 18,600 crores) EU antitrust fine, prompting a judge to ask how a rich company can miss a relatively paltry amount. The sparring underlines the battle ahead for the world’s most popular internet search engine, with two other challenges against EU antitrust enforcers to be heard in the coming months.

The Alphabet unit argued that additional amounts tacked on to the fine imposed by the European Commission in 2017 to deter anti-competitive behaviour known as a deterrent multiplier and another multiplier factor was excessive and unwarranted.

Google’s challenge came on the final day of a three-day hearing at the General Court, Europe’s second-highest, as it attempts to overturn the first of a trio of EU antitrust penalties totalling EUR 8.25 billion.

“2.4 billion euros is an eye-catching amount, it might attract the headlines but it is not justified by the actual facts of this case,” Christopher Thomas, Google’s lawyer, told judges.

He said there should not have been a fine in the first place as existing case law showed that Google’s behaviour was not anti-competitive while its market shares and the 13 countries where the infringement was committed did not justify the size of the multiplier.

The Commission used a gravity multiplier between five percent and 20 percent to Google’s 2016 turnover in the 13 EU countries, higher than the five percent levied on Intel in 2009. EU laws allow for regulators to apply a multiplier of up to 30 percent.

EU antitrust regulators should also have taken into account the company’s efforts to settle the case with concessions before they changed tack in 2015 and sanctioned Google, Thomas said.

“Credit should be given for Google’s good faith attempts to find a solution to the Commission’s concerns with its three commitments offers and the almost 9 months engineering effort spent building that solution provisionally agreed with the Commission,” he said.

Irish judge Colm Mac Eochaidh, one of the panel of five judges hearing the case and who had a day earlier said the company clearly committed an infraction, asked whether the size of the fine was as eye-catching as Google claimed.

“You are one of the richest companies in the world,” he said, citing the example of someone with 120 euros and fined 2.4 euros for littering.

“Would you miss the 2.4 euros?”

Mac Eochaidh also wondered about the power of the court to increase or revise fines, a thought which Google tried to squash by saying the Commission had not asked judges to do so.

The court in 2007 broke new ground by jacking up a cartel fine imposed by the Commission for the first time, leaving Germany’s BASF AG with a higher penalty.

EU enforcers merely stuck to the rules when calculating the fine, Commission lawyer Anthony Dawes said.

“The Commission scrupulously followed the methodology set out in the guidelines. Google’s conduct constituted a well established form of abuse,” he said.

A ruling is expected next year and can be appealed to the Court of Justice, Europe’s highest.

The case is T-612/17 Google and Alphabet v Commission.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

Source link

Comments

0 comments

internet

Amazon Launches Climate-Friendly Program to Help Shop for Sustainable Products

Published

on

Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, announced the launch of a climate-friendly program on Wednesday to help customers shop for sustainable products, as part of its commitment to be net carbon neutral by 2040.

Customers will now see more than 25,000 products ranging from grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics with a ‘Climate Pledge Friendly’ label, Amazon said in a statement.

“With 18 external certification programs and our own Compact by Design certification, we’re incentivising selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said.

Amazon, which delivers about 10 billion items a year and has a massive transportation and data center footprint, had faced protests from environmental activists and was under pressure from its employees to take action on climate change.

The company had said in June it would launch the Climate Pledge Fund, a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 15,130 crores) venture capital fund that will invest in companies across industries to help reduce the impact of climate change and support sustainable development.

Last year, Bezos had pledged to make Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040, the first major corporation to announce such a goal, and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from US vehicle design and manufacturing startup Rivian.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


Are Apple Watch SE, iPad 8th Gen the Perfect ‘Affordable’ Products for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/cdn.gadgets360.com/content/data/audio/orbital237.mp3

Source link

Comments

0 comments

Continue Reading

internet

Paytm President Says India's Secondary Listing Plan Would Be Undue Burden

Published

on

India’s potential plan to compel companies to do a secondary listing on an Indian stock exchange if they opt to first list on an overseas bourse would unfairly penalise Indian firms, according to a senior executive at fin-tech company Paytm.

“Companies should be allowed to list wherever they want. I think that would be good not just for the companies, but for the digital ecosystem,” Madhur Deora, president of SoftBank-backed Paytm, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

Deora’s comments come as India works on forging rules that would open the doors for Indian startups to list overseas and access deeper capital pools.

Earlier this month however, Reuters reported that New Delhi is also considering mandating an Indian secondary listing for any Indian company that opts to first list abroad, a move investors fear will harm valuations.

“I would have preferred for that [decision] to be left to companies and their boards,” said Deora. “This [idea] would complicate our lives.”

Companies like Google that vie against Paytm in the digital payments space have no such obligation, noted Deora.

“The fact that we are Indian and we are domiciled in India, that should not create additional obligation for us,” he said.

Paytm, which also counts Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Berkshire Hathaway among its backers, expects to become profitable within 12 to 18 months, said Deora, a former investment banker who joined the startup in 2016.

One of India’s most valuable startups, Paytm began a decade ago as a platform for mobile recharges but it now sells things ranging from flight tickets to mutual funds. It competes with Google Pay, Walmart’s PhonePe and Amazon Pay in India’s digital payments market, which is set to more than double in value to $135 billion (roughly Rs. 9,93,134 crores) by 2023 from 2019.

“We want to go public only as a profitable company,” Deora said without specifying a timeline for a listing.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


Are Apple Watch SE, iPad 8th Gen the Perfect ‘Affordable’ Products for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/cdn.gadgets360.com/content/data/audio/orbital237.mp3

Source link

Comments

0 comments

Continue Reading

internet

Ray-Ban Parent Luxottica Hit With Ransomware Attack, Company Says No Data Stolen

Published

on

Luxottica, an Italy-based eyewear conglomerate, has been hit with a ransomware attack that has forced the company to shut its operations in Italy and China for the time being. The company says that no consumer data has been stolen in the cyberattack that took place Sunday evening. Citing “computer system failure”, Luxottica initially sent SMS texts to its employees asking them to go home. It later confirmed that it was a ransomware attack that caused them to shut off their networks “for a few hours.”

Citing Italian media reports, Bleeping Computer says that Luxottica told its employees working in its offices in Agordo and Sedico, Italy, through text messages that the company has suffered “computer system failure”, and asked them to return to their homes. Apparently, the websites for various company-owned brands, including Ray-Ban, Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, EyeMed, and Pearle Vision were not working since Friday.

Later, Luxottica information security manager Nicola Vanin confirmed through a post on LinkedIn that the company has been hit by a cyberattack that impacted its operations. In his latest post about the cyberattack, Vanin says that there has been no theft of information, and the procedure for cleaning up the affected servers has already begun. After turning everything off for a few hours, work activities are gradually returning to normal in the company.

Citing cybersecurity intelligence firm Bad Packets, Bleeping Computer reports that the attackers possibly gained access using a vulnerability through “a Citrix ADX controller device vulnerable to the critical CVE-2019-19781 flaw in Citrix devices.” The vulnerability is reportedly popular among ransomware threat actors, and gives access to a network as well as credentials.

Luxottica is reportedly the world’s largest eyewear company that employs around 80,000 people. The company generated a revenue of EUR 9.4 billion in 2019. It owns brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Ferrari, Michael Kors, Bulgari, Armani, Prada, Chanel, and Coach.


How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/cdn.gadgets360.com/content/data/audio/orbital212.mp3

Source link

Comments

0 comments

Continue Reading

Most Popular