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Bayer wins EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto buy

BRUSSELS ( ) – German conglomerate Bayer won EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its $62.5 billion buy of U.S. peer Monsanto, the latest in a trio of mega mergers that will reshape the agrochemicals industry.

The tie-up is set to create a company with control of more than a quarter o,上海会所夜网Sabia,f the world’s seed and pesticides market.

Driven by shifting weather patterns, competition in grain exports and a faltering global farm economy, Dow and Dupont, and ChemChina and Syngenta had earlier led a wave of consolidation in the sector.

Both deals secured EU approval only after the companies of上海夜生活网fered substantial asset sales to boost rivals.

Environmental and farming groups have opposed all three deals, worried about their power and their advantage in digital farming data, which can tell farmers how and when to till, sow, spray, fertilize and pick crops based on algorithms.

Related CoverageU.S. says it is still reviewing Bayer’s planned Monsanto acquisition

The European Commission said Bayer addressed its concerns with its offer to sell a swathe of assets to boost rival BASF, confirming a story on Feb. 28.

“Our decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture markets also after this merger,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“In particular, we have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same.”

Vestager said the Commission, which received more than a million petitions concerning the deal, had been thorough by examining more than 2,000 different product markets and 2.7 million internal documents to produce a 1,285-page ruling.

The U.S. Justice Department, which is also reviewing the merger, said in a statement on its website that it would press on with its review and that the market in the two regions was quite different.

“While genetically modified seeds are largely prohibited in Europe, they are widely used throughout the United States,” the department noted. “The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice continues to examine the effects of the proposed transaction on American farmers and consumers.”

China has given conditional approval to the Bayer and Monsanto deal, which has won a green light in Brazil. It is currently being reviewed by Russian antitrust authorities too.

Australia said on Thursday it would not oppose the deal following the divestment commitment.

Bayer has already reached a deal to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF and to give it a license to its global digital farming data. It will also divest its vegetable seeds business to BASF.

The ,上海新夜网龙凤Macey,Commission is due to rule on the BASF deal by April 16.

Online campaigns group Avaaz criticized the EU approval.

“This is a marriage made in hell. The Commission ignored a million people who called on them to block this d,上海夜网后花园Oakley,eal, and caved in to lobbying to create a mega-corporation which will dominate our food supply,” Avaaz legal director Nick Flynn said.

U.S.-incorporated Avaaz, funded by its members, is active in climate change, poverty, conflict and corruption issues.

The Greens grouping in the European Parliament echoed the sentiment, saying smaller players in the agriculture industry needed to be helped too.

“The agriculture industry is already far too concentrated, giving a handful of massive firms a stranglehold on food production. Merging two of the biggest players only makes a bad situation worse,” Greens spokesman Bart Staes said.

Senator McCain wants hearing on possible F-16 sale to Pakistan

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senator John McCain on Thursday urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a hearing on the possible sale of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, as more lawmakers expressed concern about the deal.

McCain, chairm,上海夜生活网419Eason,an of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters he was concer上海夜生活网ned about the timing of the Obama administration’s decision to approve the sale of the fighter jets to Pakistan, and the potential consequences for U.S. relations with India.

“I would rather have seen it kicked over into the next administration,” McCain said.

A hearing would help senators decide what to do about the proposed sale, he said, noting he was very “conflicted.”

The U.S. government announced on Feb. 12 that it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight additional F-16 fighter jets, as well as radars and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

The deal drew immediate criticism from India.

Separately, U.S. Senator Rand Paul said Thursday he had introduced a resolu,上海夜生活去哪玩Lake,tion of disapproval seeking to halt U.S. arms sales to Pakistan’s government. If passed, the measure would stop the F-16 sale.

U.S. lawmakers have until March 12 to block the sale. Such action is rare since deals are usually well vetted before any formal notification, and it remained unclear if lawmakers would thwart the deal.

State Department spokesman David McKeeby said the proposed sale of F-16s would assist Pakistan’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations and was in the interests of Pakistan, the United States, NATO and the region.

“Pakistan’s current F-16s have proven critical to the success of these operations to date. These operations reduce the ability of militants to use Pakistani territory as a safe haven for terrorism and a base of support for the insurgency in Afghanistan,” he said.

McKeeby said the department was aware of congressional concerns and would continue to consult and engage with lawmakers.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker allowed the Obama administration to proceed with the deal, but said he would not approve using U.S. funds to pay for the planes through the foreign military ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Hadleigh,financing (FMF) program.

Corker told Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter earlier this month that he was concerned about Pakistan’s ties to the Haqqani network, a militant group that U.S. officials have said is behind attacks in Afghanistan.

Reckitt Benckiser CEO gets second pay cut in two years

LONDON ( ) – Reckitt Benckiser’s (RB.L) chief executive Rakesh Kapoor got an 18 percent pay cut in 2017, his second in two years, due to a halving of his long-term incentive benefits, after a year of underperformance at the British consumer goods company.

The maker of Durex condoms and Lysol cleaners said on Wednesday Kapoor received total compensation of 12.5 million pounds ($17.7上海夜网 million,上海夜生活网交流Naia,) in 2017, down from 15.3 million in 2016. Without the reduction in his long-term incentive plan (LTIP), Kapoor’s 2017 compensation would have been 23.7 million pounds.

Kapoor’s 2016 package had been slashed by a third, after a damaging safety scandal in South Korea, following a measure of investor dissatisfaction with 2015 compensation of 25.5 million pounds that made him Britain’s third-highest paid boss. That package was rejected by 18 percent of voting shareholders.

The reduction in the 2017 LTIP, which accounts for the biggest portion of compensation, was volunteered by Kapoor and exercised by the board “based on the committee’s evaluation of performance in the round and alignment of pay outcomes with the shareholder experience,” the company said.

“We recognized that 2017 was a challenging year,” said Mary Harris, chair of the remuneration committee.

For years, Reckitt enjoyed a reputation as a pace-setter of growth in,上海会所夜网Barbara, the consumer goods industry. But sales growth evaporated last year, due to a slowdown in its core consumer health business and pressure on pricing, as well as a series of one-time items including a cyber attack, a failed product launch and the scandal in South Korea.

Reckitt’s shares ended 2017 roughly in line with where they started it, despite rising to a record high in June, the same month the company closed its $17 billion takeover of baby formula maker Mead Johnson. They have lost more than a quarter of their value so far this year, even after a rally last week.

At 12.5 million pounds, Kapoor is still likely to be at the upper end of the British CEO pay scale. According to the High Pay Centre think tank, the average CEO pay at a FTSE 100 company was 4.5 million pounds ($6.4 million) in 2016. Figures for 2017 have not yet been calculated.

Reckitt’s market capitalization is 59 billion pounds ($83.6 billion), making it the 15th biggest company in the blue-chip FTSE,上海新夜网龙凤Naia, 100 .FTSE index.

($1 = 0.7058 pounds)

Take Five: World markets themes for the week ahead

LONDON ( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them.


The U.S. Federal Reserve’s first meeting with new head Jerome Powell at the helm takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday and an interest rate rise – this year’s first – is seen as a done deal.

Against the backdrop of brewing inflationary pressures, mortgage rates and Treasury yields have been rising and risk assets including equities and junk debt prices have been exhibiting signs of stress.

World investors will be paying close attention to the wording of the Fed statement for clues on whether Powell and co think conditions are now strong enough to hike rates beyond the three the financial markets have been forecasting. Oh, and what they think about the risk of a global trade war.

(GRAPHIC: Fed ahead – reut.rs/2FEDs5u)


The March 22 meeting at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand should be eventful but not for the normal reasons. For almost no one expects a change in rates. But the RBNZ is having a change of guard. Adrian Orr takes over as governor on March 27 from Grant Spencer.

A new Policy Target Agreement (PTA), which is to be signed between the incoming governor and the country’s finance minister, must also be released before Orr takes over. It could allude to the employment objective that the government wants to include in the RBNZ mandate and is seeking parliamentary approval for.

As for interest rates, markets expect no change until mid-2019. Economic conditions – growth seen slightly above last year’s, below-target inflation, a stable currency and r,上海凤楼夜网Gabriella,ising share prices – validate those expectations.

New governor Orr has worked for the RBNZ before and is considered a continuity candidate, analysts warn against taking a change of guard for granted though. They cite the example of Philip Lowe at the Reserve Bank of Australia, who surprised markets with his focus on financial stability.

(GRAPHIC: New Zealand GDP, rates, jobs, inflation – reut.rs/2pfJlMe)


Emerging market investors’ love for South Africa and Russia will be severely tested, with Moody’s set to deliver a long-awaited verdict on South Africa’s last remaining investment grade credit rating by March 23, and Russia facing Western condemnation over a nerve agent attack on British soil just as Vladimir Putin limbers up for another presidential election win.

South African assets have rallied hard this year on a turnaround ticket, with new President Cyril Ramaphosa pledging to fight corruption, implement much-need structural reforms and kickstart growth. The country’s bonds are currently international investors’ top “overweight” in portfolios linked to JPMorgan’s GBI-Emerging Markets index so the rating call could be tense.

Russian assets meanwhile have come under scrutiny, amid the potential for more biting and globally coordinated sanctions on Moscow if the spy poisoning case escalates further.

So far bond investors appear largely unperturbed. There was strong interest for a new Russian Eurobond which landed on big funds’ desks just as Britain and the United States were expelling dozens of Russian diplomats.

(GRAPHIC: South Africa’s 上海夜网rating decision awaits – reut.rs/2HDfpjV)


Next week will be a crunch one for sterling traders. A key summit between,上海夜生活男人好去处Dallas, British and European officials Thursday and Friday next week could yield a “provisional” deal on a post-Brexit transition period, though with wide differences still on the Irish border conundrum, dealers aren’t taking chances.

The pound has made a solid recovery – against the dollar at least – over the last year. “Long” positions on cable GBPNETUSD= are only fractionally below a three-year high. But if there no sign of a deal and a “hard” Brexit is suddenly the base case again, the currency would almost certainly go skidding again.


Implied sterling volatility options show it well GBP1MRR= They are more in demand than other G10 FX counterparts, showing just how nervy the pound markets are feeling.

Add to the mix that there will also be a Bank of England meeting on Thursday. Any sniff of a transition deal might give it cover to strike a more confident tone on further rate hikes this year. Just like Brexit, rate markets are looking to May.

(GRAPHIC: Sterling positions – reut.rs/2FNZVJr)


Hedge funds have been ramping up their bets against European equities in recent weeks. “Short” demand for European equities is now up 18 percent year-to-date, and the current total short position is $188 billion, just below a post-euro crisis high of $193 billion hit a month ago.

With a strong economic backdrop and more attractive valuations than U.S. equities, what’s pushing investors to short the European market?

The strong euro is one reason why hedge funds think the region’s corporate earnings won’t live up to share prices. And political risk – the main reason why short positions increased last year – reared has its head again with the complicated outcome of Italian elections this month.

But another reason may be strategic: Analysts say it has been cheaper to “short” a basket of big European names than those from across the pond. European stocks also have a higher “beta”, or correlation, than U.S. stocks to the broader market when it is going down. So a bet against Europe may simply be the most efficient way to bet against markets overall.

(GRAPHIC: Bets against European stocks increase – reut.rs/2pfY8qa)

House Speaker Ryan says contested Republican convention more likely

WASHINGTON ( ) – House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday it is increasingly likely that the Republican Party’s presidential nominating convention will be a contested one this summer.

If no candidate can assemble 1,237 Republican delegates by July, the party’s presidential nominee for the November election will be chosen by convention delegates in Cleveland, Ohio, in what could be four days of political drama, carried live on national television.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump warned on Wednes,上海夜生活服务Idaleen,day of “riots” if he is denied the party’s presidential nomination, after he scored big wins in primaries in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina on Tuesday. It is uncertain whether Trump can get the 1,237 convention delegates he needs before July.

Ryan denounced Trump’s “riots” comment, saying it was unacceptable to even hint at violence. He sai上海夜生活论坛d he had to study up on the convention process, since he would be chairing the event and wanted to be sure the rule of law prevails.

“Nothing has changed other than the perception that this is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before. So, we’re getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality,” Ryan said.

As chairman, Ryan will be charged with opening and closing the event, and overseeing the presidential nomination roll call – possibly more than one, if the first is not decisive. He would also be expected to deal with any floor fights on controversial motions that arise.

“I will have to obviously bone up on all the rules and all of those things,” R,上海夜网后花园Mace,yan told reporters.

“My goal is … to be neutral and dispassionate, and to make sure that the rule of law prevails, and to make sure that the delegates make their decision however the rules require them to do that,” he said.

The last time delegates arrived at a Republican convention without a clear nominee, in Kansas City in 1976, then-President Gerald Ford edged out challenger Ronald Reagan on the first ballot.

The last time it took multiple ballots to get a Republican nominee was in 1948, when Thomas Dewey was nominated.

Ryan has been touted as a possible dark-horse candidate for president this year, but the speaker repeated Thursday that he is not running.

He said he told former House Speaker John Boehner, who,上海夜网Idris, had suggested Ryan be a candidate in case of a deadlocked convention, to “knock it off.”

Australian casino boss Packer quits Crown board due to mental illness

SYDNEY/HONG KONG ( ) – Australian billionaire James Packer has quit the board of casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd (CWN.AX) due to mental illness, following a tumultuous period including a break-up with singer Mariah Carey and the failure of Crown’s expansion strategy.

The unexpected departure by the 47-percent owner of Crown comes as the world’s seventh-largest listed casino company tri,上海夜生活男人好去处Barrett,es to rebuild after the arrest of 18 staff in China in 2016 triggered a global pull-back.

“Mr Packer is suffering from mental health issues. At this time he intends to step back from all commitments,” a Packer spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Crown shares dropped 1 percent to their lowest close in a month, while the broader market was flat. The stock was already under pressure as it went ex-dividend on Tuesday.

The company gave no details on Packer’s health issues, but recent years have not been smooth sailing for either Crown or its high-profile director, the only son of late media mogul Kerry Packer.

Packer, 50, first left Crown’s board in 2015, the year he was briefly engaged to singer Carey, and rejoined 14 months ago while the company was in crisis following the arrest of staff for breaches of gambling marketing laws in China.

The arrests prompted the Melbourne-based, A$8.9 billion ($6.8 billion) firm to reverse a decade-old global expansion into the Asian gambling hub Macau and Las Vegas, to focus on Australia. Packer declared the company’s globa,上海夜网Sabina,l strategy a failure.

He began selling assets to pay off his debts, including stakes in Macau-based Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd (MLCO.O) and Hollywood film company RatPac Entertainment.

He told The Australian newspaper in October “it has been a tumultuous four or five years for me”.

“I’ve got China falling apart, the Australian casino businesses missing budgets by big amounts, I’ve got Mariah breaking up with me… “ he was quoted as saying.

In February, he was named by Israeli police as a witness in a bribery investigation against Benjamin Netanyahu, having lavished the Israeli prime minister and his family with expensive gifts.


Packer forged Crown by selling his father’s media empire to private equity firms a decade ago and buying casino interests from Vegas to Macau.

His personal stake in Crown, which once topped 50 percent, made Packer responsible for blunders that have crimped the company’s growth prospects.

“Packer is the company,” said a former Melco executive who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Crown sold its third-stake in Macau-based Melco for $1.16 billion in May last year, just as it was about to recover from a slump in Chinese VIP gambling. Those shares are worth $4.6 billion at Melco’s current valuation.

“It was a bad trade,” said Mathan Somasundaram, Market Portfolio Strategist at stockbroker Blue Ocean Equities.

“In theory, that was the cash cow that was going to fund growth in other re,上海夜生活乌托邦Cadence,gions.”

Business setbacks and relationship troubles have triggered mental health issues for Packer in the past.

After his first marriage break-up and the collapse of telecom company One.Tel, a joint venture with Lachlan Murdoch, in 2001, Packer told the Seven Network in Australia that he “became depressed” and “emotionally exhausted”.

But even if he takes a step back from the business, Packer’s stake in Crown, currently valued at about A$4.2 billion, will continue to fuel market rumors that he intends to take it private.

Angus Gluskie, a portfolio manager at White Funds Management, which owns Crown shares, said Packer’s departure would remove a conflict of interest should he launch a buyout bid.

“It上海夜生活论坛’s been regularly rumored, but I can’t quite see it at the moment,” he said.

EU leaders tell social networks to guarantee users’ privacy

BRUSSELS ( ) – EU leaders on Thursday urged social networks to guarantee transparent practices and fully protect personal information as pressure piled on Facebook after allegations that data from 50 million of its users was mishandled.

More than $50 billion has been wiped off Facebook’s market value on reports that British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to build pr,上海晚上耍女人的地方Paige,ofiles on American voters and influence the 2016 presidential election.

“Social networks and digital platforms need to guarantee transparent practices and full protection of citizens’ privacy and personal data,” the European Union heads of state said in after meeting in Brussels. “EU and national legislation must be respected and enforced.”

The harvesting of user data happened before a new EU data protection law comes into force under which companies could be fined up to 4 percent of global turnover for violating.

“We cannot apply the sanctions which are coming with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) from May onwards,” EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told reporters on Thursday.

In Britain, which is leading the investigation from the European s,上海夜网后花园Nala,ide, the maximum sanction is 500,000 pounds ($705,000), Jourova said, an insignificant amount compared to Faceb上海夜网ook’s $40.65 billion in revenue for 2017.

European Parliament head Antonio Tajani invited Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to come to the legislature to explain “how Cambridge Analytica came to use the personal data of millions of people to influence the… U.S. presidential elections and the Brexit referendum.”

On Wednesday Zuckerberg apologized for mistakes his company made and promised to restrict developers’ access to user information as part of a plan to improve privacy protection.

Jourova said more than one announcement would be needed to renew people’s trust in Facebook. “This is much more serious because here we witness the threat to democracy, to democratic plurality. It is endangering the f,上海021夜网Lake,ree electoral choices of the people in Europe,” she said.

Unilever picks Rotterdam for HQ as Britain loses the battle before…

LONDON ( ) – Britain’s third biggest company Unilever (ULVR.L) UNc.AS picked Rotterdam over London for its main headquarters on Thursday in a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May’s government a year before Brexit.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Lipton teas and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream launched a review of its dual-headed structure in 2017 after fighting off a $143 billion takeover from Kraft Heinz (KHC.O), triggering a battle between Britain and the Netherlands.

Under the new plan, Unilever will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam and New York, and will divide into three divisions, keeping two based in Britain. That will enable it to retain its 7,300 staff in the United Kingdom.

The company said the decision to end 88 years of two parent-ownership was not linked to Brexit or any form of protectionism, but would simplify its structure and facilitate acquisitions.

However, British unions and supporters of EU membership bemoaned what they said was a deterioration in Britain’s competitiveness at a time when tax code changes and strong anti-takeover laws have made the Netherlands increasingly attractive.

“Let me categorically say that this had nothing to do with Brexit,” Unilever Chairman Marijn Dekkers told reporters.

“The board takes a 30 to 50 year decision. We think both countries are highly attractive investment climates and we will continue to invest in both countries as a result of this,” the Dutchman added.

It is unclear whether Unilever can remain in the FTSE 100 Index of leading UK stocks, a decision which could hit its shares if tracker funds are forced to sell.

Related CoverageUK says Unilever headquarters’ decision not connected to BrexitUnilever says place in FTSE 100 Index still to be determinedBIG CHANGE

Forged by the 1930 merger of Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and British soap maker Lever Brothers, Unilever employs nearly 170,000 people around the world to generate turnover of 53.7 billion euros ($66 billion) in 2017.

With a market value of 105 billion pounds ($146 billion), it competes with the likes of P&G, Kraft, Nestle, Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser and independent brands.

In ,上海会所夜网Mace,early 2017, the company – which had been thought to be too big to take over – managed to fight off one of the largest corporate bids ever made, but had to placate investors with a plan to boost profits and reinvigorate the group.

The short-lived bid battle has had widespread repercussions.

In the weeks after the offer, Chief Executive Paul Polman said Britain, known for promoting one of the most open economies in the world, should do more to protect national champions.

Unions in Britain have noted that Dutch companies have stronger powers to fight off unwanted takeovers, as seen last year when paint maker Akzo Nobel (AKZO.AS) fended off a 26.3 billion euro bid from U.S. rival PGG Industries (PPG.N).

“This is a tremendous boost,” Rotterdam,上海足浴夜网联系方式Sabine, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said. “Rotterdam is a place that serves the interests of Unilever well as it will be less of a prey for takeovers.”

Chris Bryant, an opposition UK lawmaker and leading supporter of Open Britain which is urging post-Brexit Britain to remain close to the EU, said the choice of Rotterdam over London was a sign the business environment was weakening.


Unilever had held talks with both governments before making its decision, and the move will be seen 上海夜网as a blow to Prime Minister May, who is locked in talks with Brussels over the country’s departure from the EU on March 29, 2019.

Her government welcomed the reassurance on jobs, however.

In recent months, speculation had grown that Unilever would choose the Netherlands after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, himself a Unilever veteran, proposed a tax change seen as benefiting Anglo-Dutch multinationals.

Unilever said it did not expect any significant tax changes as a result of the deal. It said it had chosen the Netherlands because the Dutch company currently accounted for 55 percent of the group and those shares traded with greater liquidity.

As part of the restructuring, Unilever will create three divisions, with Beauty & Personal Care and the Home Care units being headquartered in London. The Foods & Refreshment division will be based in Rotterdam.

The company said it would give more authority to the heads of those divisions to set strategy.

The long-awaited announcement marks the latest change to the company after it agreed to sell its margarine and spreads business to U.S. private equity firm KKR (KKR.N) for 6.83 billion euros in December.

Polman was asked how long he would continue as CEO now he has made these changes, but said there was still a lot to be done and he remained energised by the job.

The restructuring, he said, would enable Unilever to make changes to its portfolio including major acquisitions, although he stressed he had no immediate plans to do this.

Unilever is not the only major company spanning Britain and the Netherlands – with Royal Dutch Shell and publishing group Relx having strong links with both countries.

($1 = 0.8104 euros)

($1 = 0.7168 poun,上海晚上耍女人的地方Radley,ds)

Facebook’s lead EU regulator ‘following up’ on third party data use

DUBLIN ( ) – Facebook’s lead regulator in the European Union, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, is “following up” with the U.S. internet giant to ensure its oversight of app developers’ use of its data is effective, her office said on Tuesday.

Britain is investigating whether Facebook (FB.O) did enough to protect data after a whistleblower said a London-based political consultancy hired by Donald Trump improperly accessed information on 50 million Facebook users to sway public opinion.

Facebook, like a number of U.S. multinationals, has its European headquarters in Dublin and the office of Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said she was looking into the matter.

“The Irish DPC is following up with Facebook Ireland in relation to what forms of active oversight of app developers and third parties that utilise their platform is in place with a view to ensuring it is effective,” it said in a statement.

The micro-targeting of social media users with political advertisements is “an ongoing issue”, it added.

But it s,上海021夜网Lance,aid that issues reported by Britain’s Observer newspaper “affected substantially U.S. Facebook users” and was already being investigated by the British regulator.

Facebook said in a statement that if Cambridge Analytica still held the data it would be a “grave violation of Facebook’s policies.” Cambridge Analytica has denied all the media claims.

The Irish government has significantly increased the funding of the DPC in recent years following accusations its regulation system was weak.

In 2011 Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems submitted a complaint to the Irish regulator about the use of Facebook users’ friends’ data by third-party apps without their direct consent.

That complaint was rejected, but the DPC said it recommended in 2012 that Facebook reconsider its policy of allowing the data of friends of Facebook users to be harvested by app-owners.

In May 2014, access to friends data was restricted by Facebook in a platform upgrade, the DPC said.

Asked on Tuesday about上海夜生活论坛 concerns over regulation in Ireland, where U.S. internet multinationals are major employers, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the system was “robust” and the government would continue to increase the DPC’s resources.

“I don’t think we can be any way complacent about the risks that,上海高端夜生活在那里Talon, are posed by people interfering in elections,” Varadkar said.

Schrems told Irish broadcaster RTE on Tuesday that the issue described by a whistleblower in the Observer was exactly what was described in the complaint to the Irish DPC in 2011 and that the regulator “could prob,上海夜网后花园Cain,ably have prevented” Cambridge Analytica from securing that data.

The DPC did not directly respond when asked if its actions had allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest data.

Oil prices jump, Brent hits highest in more than 2 weeks

NEW YORK ( ) – Oil prices jumped on Friday, with Brent crude futures hitting their,上海夜网Ida, highest in more than two weeks as U.S. stock prices rose and investors covered short bets ahead of a weekend in which the U.S. news program “60 Minutes” will air an interview with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be on “60 Minutes” on Sunday “comparing Iran’s Ayatollah to Hitler, and the battle in Ghouta, Syria, is ramping up,” said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in New York. “You can’t be short oil over the weekend with all that going on in the region.”

Brent futures rose $1.09 to settle at $66.21 a barrel, a 1.7 percent gain. During the session, Brent hit $66.42,上海夜网千花Fabi,, its highest since Feb. 28.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April, which will expire on Tuesday, rose $1.15 to settle at $62.34 a barrel, a 1.9 percent gain. WTI hit a high of $62.54, its highest since March 7.

Brent futures gained 1 percent for the week, while WTI marked a weekly rise of 0.4 percent. It was the second straight weekly rise for both contracts.

Gains on Wall Street also supported crude futures, which have recently been moving in tandem with U.S. stock indices.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil futures and options in the week to March 13, as crude prices fell for a second week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said.

The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 24,667 contracts to 453,864 during the period. The cuts marked the second consecutive week in which speculators cut their net long positions in the market.

U.S. drillers added four oil rigs this week, bringing the total count to 800, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said. It was the seventh U.S. rig count rise in eight weeks.

On Thursday the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted global oil demand would pick up this year, but supply is growing at a faste上海夜生活r pace, which should boost inventories.

The agency raised its forecast for oil demand this year to 99.3 million barrels per day (bpd) from 97.8 million bpd in 2017, and said it expected supply from non-OPEC nations to grow by 1.8 million bpd in 2018 to 59.9 million bpd, led by ,上海021夜网Balthazar,the United States.

OPEC and other producers have cut output to reduce a global crude glut.

On Wednesday, the U.S. government reported that crude stockpiles in the United States increased by a more-than-expected 5 million barrels.

Written by shyw on January 21, 2019 Categories: pqypogrx Tags: , , ,

Cruz says would deport illegal immigrants, sharpens immigration stance

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz vowed to deport immigrants living illegally in the United States and ,上海夜网后花园Idaline,build a wall to keep others out, sharpening his stance on the issue a week before presidential contests in several southern state上海夜生活s.

Cruz’s comments on the eve of Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses came hours after the public firing of his main spokesman over misleading social media postings involving rival Marco Rubio.

Rubio won endorsements on Monday from prominent Republicans as he sought to become the party’s mainstream alternative to front-runner Donald Trump after Jeb Bush dropped out of the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Cruz was asked on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor” if he would round up the 12 million illegal aliens in the country, and how.

“Listen, we should enforce the law. How do we enforce the law? Yes, we should deport them. We should build a wall. We should triple the Border Patrol,” Cruz said. “And federal law requires that anyone here illegally tha,上海夜哪里艳遇Queena,t’s appr,上海夜生活网交流Idaleen,ehended should be deported.” 

Asked if he, like real estate tycoon Trump, would go out and look for them, Cruz replied, “Of course you would. That’s what ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) exists for. We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws.” 

The comments marked a shift from last month, when Cruz rejected sending authorities to find immigrants as “police state” tactics.

“I don’t intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America. That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime,” Mr. Cruz told CNN in an interview on Jan. 10.

Cruz has repeatedly criticized Rubio for having embraced a sweeping immigration reform bill he characterizes as amnesty.

Cruz and other Republican candidates vying to represent their party in the Nov. 8 presidential election have been under pressure to toughen their stance on immigration by Trump’s ferocious rhetoric on the issue.

Trump responded to Cruz’s comments with a trademark Twitter taunt on Tuesday, referring the U.S. senator from Texas’ third-place finish in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday.

“Ted Cruz only talks tough on immigration now because he did so badly in S.C. He is in favor of amnesty and weak on illegal immigration,” Trump said.

The New York billionaire has said he would deport all undocumented immigrants, build a wall and rescind U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

Bloomberg opts out of U.S. presidential bid, calls for centrism

WASHINGTON ( ) – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday he would not mount an independent bid for the U.S. presidency because he feared it would increase the chances that Republicans Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could end up in the White House.

A billionaire media mogul who combined business-friendly fiscal policies with liberal views on gun control and other social issues, Bloomberg could have potentially appealed to centrist voters in a year when candidates from the far left and right of the political spectrum have gained traction.

But Bloomberg, 74, said he had concluded that any candidate would be unlikely to win a cle,上海夜生活网交流Dallas,ar majority in a three-person race. That would throw the election into the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which would be able to hand the White House to Trump, a real-estate billionaire, or Cruz, a conservative U.S. senator from Texas.

“That is not a risk I can take in good conscience,” he wrote on Bloomberg View, an opini,上海夜生活男人好去处Kade,on website that is part of his media empire.

Bloomberg never received much interest from American voters. About 12 percent of likely voters said they would support him in a three-way race for president with Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump, according to a /Ipsos national poll conducted from Wednesday to Monday.

Among respondents, 41 percent said they would support Clinton and 31 percent would support Trump. The poll of 1,695 likely voters had a credibility interval of 3 percentage points.

Bloomberg said Trump, who is leading the battle to win the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election, had backed policies that would undermine religious tolerance and threaten national security.

Trump has called for building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, deporting the country’s illegal immigrants and temporarily barring Muslims from entering the country.

“He has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears,” Bloomberg wrote of Trump. He said Cruz, a favorite of evangelicals and the conservative Tea Party movement, was divisive as well.


Bloomberg also hit out at Clinton and her rival for the Democratic nomination, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, for criticizing free trade and the financial industry.

“Extremism is on the march, and unless we stop it, our problems at home and abroad will grow worse,” he wrote.

Spokespeople for Trump and Cruz did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Bloomberg’s criticism.

Bloomberg founded and is majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., a 上海夜生活论坛news and financial,夜上海419龙凤论坛Barrett, information provider that competes with Thomson Corp TRI.TO.

The fear of a general election contest between Trump and Sanders, a democratic socialist, had driven Bloomberg to begin seriously exploring an independent run, a senior adviser said on condition of anonymity.

But with Clinton pulling away from Sanders in the Democratic race, Bloomberg concluded the path to victory and the rationale for running were gone, the aide said.

Clinton reacted to the news with polite praise, saying she had the “greatest respect” for Bloomberg. “He has to make his own decisions, but I look forward to continuing to work with him,” she said on Fox News.

Sanders, when asked about Bloomberg’s decision not to run, said election laws should be changed to make it easier for people who are not rich, or not friendly with rich people, to run for office.

“I think it’s a bad idea for American democracy that the only people who feel in many ways they can run for president are people who have so much money,” he said on Fox News.

Japan machinery makers with China exposure take big hit amid trade…

TOKYO ( ) – Shares of Japanese machinery makers with heavy exposure to China plummeted on Friday as China and the United States moved closer to a trade war that could damage global growth.

Shares in machinery makers, which account for 20 percent of Japan’s total exports, had enjoyed strong gains in the past year on the back of brisk demand for inv上海夜生活网estment in electronics and semiconductors in China, Japan’s biggest trading partner.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday that will target up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs to kick in after a 30-day consultation period. The tariffs would target sectors including technology.

“Responding to rising demand for tech products in China, Japan’s capital goods makers and machinery makers had seen strong exports so they are likely to hit hard from now,” said Shogo Maekawa, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

The Tokyo machi,上海仙霞路夜生活Lake,nery sector index .IMCHN.T slumped 5.6 percent, helping to pull the Nikkei share average .N225 down 4.5 percent.

Machine tool makers were hammered, with Makino Milling M,上海夜生活网419Idris,achine (6135.T) sliding 6.1 percent, Okuma Corp (6103.T) nose-diving 7.4 percent and DMG Mori Co (6141.T) stumbling 6.0 per,上海021夜网Jackson,cent.

Since the beginning of the year, Makino has fallen 15 percent, while Okuma and DMG Mori have both sunk around 20 percent.

The Cabinet Office last week said it expects a 3.1 percent drop in Japan’s exports, the first decline in a year.

“For the Japanese economy which relies heavily on external demand amid weak domestic demand, this signals an end to strong exports,” said Toru Suehiro, a senior market economist at Mizuho Securities.

Friday’s big losers included semiconductor equipment makers Advantest (6857.T) and Tokyo Electron 8035.T dropped 4.1 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.

High-purity silicon maker Sumco Corp (3436.T) also shed 5.0 percent and silicon products maker Shin-Etsu Chemical Co 4063. tumbled 6.7 percent.

Construction equipment maker Komatsu (6301.T) tumbled 6.3 percent.

(This story corrects paragraph 8 timeframe to a year, not five quarters)

In China payment war, Walmart places bet on Tencent

BEIJING/SHANGHAI ( ) – Walmart Inc has placed a bet on Tencent Holdings Ltd’s mobile payment system, giving the tech giant a boost in its battle with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd for pole position in China’s fast-growing payments market.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, on Tu,上海新夜网龙凤Barrett,esday said it had dropped Alibaba-linked Alipay in all its stores in the western region of the country, after agreeing a tie-up with Tencent to use its popular WeChat payment system.

The move underscores how China’s retail market is dividing into two camps around Alibaba and Tencent, tech behemoths worth a combined $1 trillion who are shaking up the online and offline retail market.

The two firms, who have spent billions of dollars on retail deals since the start of last year, dominate the country’s third-party mobile payment market. Alibaba-linked Alipay leads the field, with Tencent’s WeChat Pay catching up fast.

Chinese consumers – and retailers – often have both Alipay and WeChat, which can be used to pay for shopping online or in physical stores by scanning QR codes with a smartphone.

Alibaba is China’s top e-commerce player, while Tencent is strong in social media and gaming and has – along with Walmart – a major stake in number two online retailer JD.com Inc.

A Walmart spokeswoman said the firm had entered into a “partnership” with We,上海晚上耍女人的地方Balthazar,Chat Pay in western China, which was a “business decisi,上海夜生活桑拿会所Kailani,on” to improve customer experience.

The Western China region is a large area includ上海夜生活网ing provinces like Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu. It is, however, more sparsely populated than the wealthier eastern part of the country.

“In the future, Walmart will cooperate with more partners to provide payment solutions with more convenience and benefits,” she said in emailed comments, adding the firm accepted payment methods including cash, cards and mobile payments.

Tencent said it welcomed Walmart’s decision and would push forward with plans to help support vendors with digital tools in the “smart retail” arena.

Alibaba and Alipay declined to comment.

The Walmart move comes after Tencent and Alibaba have between them splashed over $10 billion on retail-focused deals, boosting their reach offline and meaning few brick-and-mortar sellers are left without an allegiance to one or the other.

Saudi Arabia to sign memorandum with Boeing to support fleet

NEW YORK ( ) – Saudi Arabia will sign a non-binding agreement with Boeing Co (BA.N) for the U.S. planemaker to provide support and training to the kingdom’s fleet, the chairman of the state-owned military industrial company said o,上海夜哪里艳遇Hadrian,n Tuesday.

With Saudi Arabia intending to localize 50 percent of its military industry by 2030, it is in discussions with U.S. companies to scale up their operations in the kingdom.

To that end, Ahmed Al Khateeb of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) said it will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) – a document which outweighs a letter of intent but does commit either side to the agreement – with Boeing in Seattle.

“Hopefully we will be announcing other MoUs with other big American companies,” Khateeb told on the sidelines of the 2018 Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum in New York.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is leading a whistle-stop visit to the United States and on Friday is scheduled to travel to the U.S. West Co,夜上海论坛Gabrielle,ast.

At the forum, Saudi Arabia’s U.S. embassy said the kingdom had signed 36 memorandums of understanding, totaling more than $20 billion in new business partnerships.

The memorandums of understanding included a partnership between Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) and oil giant Saudi Aramco for national cloud services, and a cooperation agreement between Aramco and Raytheon Co (RTN.N) for national cyber security services.

Aramco has been the victim of a high-profile cyber attack in the p,上海夜网推油Gabriella,ast, with former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta describing the 2012 so-called Shamoon attack as perhaps the most destructive cyber attack on a private business.

In addition to cultivating Western ties for investments in Saudi Arabia, the trip is an opportunity for the crown prince to try to reassure investors who were unnerved by the severity and secrecy of an anti-corruption crackdown last November.

CEO’s in attendance at the forum included Morgan Stanley’s (MS.N) James Gorman, Ajay Banga from Mastercard (MA.N) and PepsiCo’s (PEP.O) Indra Nooyi, according to an attendee list上海夜生活论坛.

After crucial win, Kasich sees path to Republican nomination

BEREA, Ohio ( ) – After a critical win on his home turf, Ohio Governor John Kasich begins a new phase of his long-shot presidential campaign that his aides hope will ultimately propel him past Republican front-runner Donald Trump by triggering a rare contested convention.

Kasich’s victory in Ohio’s primary on Tuesday, along with the departure from the race of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, makes him the party establishment’s last hope of stopping the New York billionaire businessman from winning the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election.

Trump and his closest rival, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are deeply unpopular among Republican insiders.

“I want you to know, the campaign goes on,” Kasich, 63, t上海夜生活old a victory rally near Cleveland. In a reference to Trump’s fiery campaign rhetoric, Kasich added: “I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land.”

Trump, 69, notch,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dakota,ed wins in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina on Tuesday and was projected by MSNBC to win a close race with Cruz in Missouri. But losing Ohio’s winner-take-all contest for 66 delegates complicates his attempt to clinch the 1,237 delegates needed to win his party’s nomination before the party’s July convention in Cleveland.

With most of the remaining states allocatin,上海高端夜生活在那里Jacklyn,g delegates proportionally, Kasich’s aides believe he could prevail at a convention at which no candidate enters with a majority.

“The plan is to win Ohio, and some other states, and if that happens, nobody is going to have enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot,” said John Weaver, Kasich’s chief campaign strategist, who also worked on Republican Senator John McCain’s losing presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008.

Kasich’s plan, according to aides, is to leverage the momentum to gather more endorsements from mainstream party insiders and Republican donors.

With the wind at his back, he hopes to score more victories in upcoming primaries including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin, Connecticut and California, where he believes the terrain is friendlier to his brand of Republican moderation.

To become the nominee who faces Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders — in the November election — a Republican needs to win a majority of the 2,472 Republican delegates. After last night’s contests, excluding Missouri’s, Trump leads with 619 delegates, followed by Cruz with 394. Kasich has 136.


If no candidate reaches that threshold by the close of the last primary on June 7, the convention will almost certainly be contested — a recent historical rarity that would signal deep party rifts. No convention, by either party, has gone beyond a first ballot since 1952.

Kasich has almost no hope of winning enough delegates to secure the nomination outright. Ohio is the lone state he has won. But if he can succeed in blocking Trump from getting a majority, he can make a case to convention delegates that he is more electable than Trump or Cruz, 45, a conservative evangelical and, to date, Trump’s most successful Republican rival.

Signs of the Republican establishment rallying behind Kasich were on show this week. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 who recently blasted Trump as a “fraud” in a scathing speech, campaigned with Kasich in Ohio on Monday.

“He has the kind of record that you want in Washington,” Romney said in North Canton, Ohio, on a stage next to Kasich, who spent 18 years as a Republican congressman and six as Ohio governor. “You look at this guy, and unlike the other people running, he has a real track record.”

On Wednesday, Kasich heads to a campaign event in Pennsylvania and then holds three events in Utah on Friday — where Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is popular with Republicans. Utah, with 40 delegates, votes on March 27. Pennsylvania is one of five states voting on April 26.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who has stayed neutral in this year’s nominating fight, said Kasich’s victory should earn him more help from party insiders.

“There are really just two options left: Either Trump gets enough delegates, or nobody does,” O’Connell said. “Kasich’s win in Ohio means Trump must now win roughly 60 percent of the remaining delegates before the convention. I would say we now have a 50-50 chance of a brokered convention.”

O’Connell said that under Republican party rules, a candidate must receive a clear majority of primary votes overall to become the nominee.

The history of Republican nominating fights is littered with candidates who received a plurality of the votes, but not a majority, and never became the nominee.


Kasich’s aides are looking to history as a guide, particularly Wendell Willkie’s path to the 1940 Republican nomination. That year, three leading candidates – Robert Taft, Thomas Dewey and Arthur Vandenberg – each arrived at the convention without enough delegates to win.

Willkie – a businessman and former Democrat who had never before run for public office – opposed the Republican Party’s isolationists and was a supporter of Britain’s war efforts. His cause gained momentum after the Nazi blitzkrieg in Europe in May 1940.

After six ballots at the convention, delegates in Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan deserted other candidates and switched to Willkie, giving him victory.

Trump, Cruz and Kasich could face the same scenario this year, which would force to them to lobby delegates on the convention floor ,上海夜生活男人好去处Balthazar,until one emerged with a majority.

“A lot of people who do not want Trump have been sitting back to see how Kasich and Rubio do in their home states on Tuesday,” said Republican strategist Charlie Black, who signed up on Tuesday night as a Kasich adviser.

Thomson reports UK gender pay gap of 16.95 percent, big…

LONDON ( ) – Thomson (TRI.N) (TRI.TO), one of the world’s biggest news and information companies, on Tuesday reported a mean gender pay gap for its British entities of 16.95 percent and a mean bonus gap of 50.52 percent.

UK employers with more than 250 staff have to report their gender pay gap by April 4 to the Government Equalities Office, almost 50 years on from the passage of Britain’s equal pay act.

“At Thomson , we believe the strongest workforce is the most diverse workforce; the most competitive in the global economy,” said Mark Sandham, senior vice president and chief operating officer for human resources at Thomson .

“We will continue to champion gender equality and look forward to continuing to measure progress,” he said in a report.

The difference in earnings between men and women has provoked significant anger among many women in recent years and sparked a public debate in Britain over why pay is still so different for men and women.

The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average salary of men and women, calculated on an hourly basis.

Compared to other media companies, the Thomson mean pay gap was higher than at the British Broadcasting Corporation where it was 1,上海夜生活桑拿会所Dahlia,0.7 percent but lower than at the Financial Times Ltd where it was 24.4 percent or at Channel Four where the mean pay gap was 28.6 percent.

Thomson said men occupied 71 percent of its 上海夜生活论坛senior leadership roles, one of the reasons the bonus pay,上海足浴夜网联系方式Queena, gap was higher than some other media companies.

At the BBC, the mean bonus gap was 20.3 percent or the Financial Times where the mean bonus gap was 37.9 percent. Spokeswomen for the BBC and FT could not be reached for immediate comment.

“The bonus gap is also impacted by the senior leadership profile as these roles attract long term financial incentives which are included in the bonus gap calculations,” Thomson said.

Among financial companies, Goldman Sachs reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 percent and a mean bonus gap for the unit of 72.2 percent.

The Thomson data, submitted to the British government and published on its website http://www.gov.uk as well as on the Thomson website here was combined for all of its British legal entities.

At T,上海夜网Ebba,homson Professional UK Limited, the mean pay gap was 2.43 percent while at Limited the mean pay gap was 20.23 percent. The respective mean bonus gaps were 51 percent and 40.96 percent.

Thomson , controlled by Canada’s Thomson family, is the parent of News.

A Thomson spokesman declined further immediate comment.

Exclusive: Amazon’s internal numbers on Prime Video, revealed

( ) – Amazon.com Inc’s top television shows drew more than 5 million people worldwide to its Prime shopping club by early 2017, according to company documents, revealing for the first time how the retailer’s bet on original video is paying off.

The documents also show that Amazon’s U.S. audience for all video programming on Prime, including films and TV shows it licenses from other companies, was about 26 million customers. Amazon has never released figures for its total audience.

The internal documents compare metrics that have never been reported for 19 shows exclusive to Amazon: their cost, their viewership and the number of people they helped lure to Prime. Known as Prime Originals, the shows account for as much as a quarter of what analysts estimate to be total Prime sign-ups from late 2014 to early 2017, the period covered by the documents.

Core to Amazon’s strategy is the use of video to convert viewers into shoppers. Fans access Amazon’s lineup by joining Prime, a club that includes two-day package delivery and other perks, for an annual fee.上海夜生活

The company declined to comment on the documents seen by . But Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has been upfront about the company’s use of entertainment to drive merchandise sales. The world’s biggest online retailer launched Amazon Studios in 2010 to develop original programs that have since grabbed awards and Hollywood buzz.

“When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes,” Bezos said at a 2016 technology conference near Los Angeles. He said film and TV customers renew their subscriptions “at higher rates, and they convert from free trials at higher rates” than members who do not stream videos on Prime.

Video has grown to be one of Amazon’s biggest expenditures at $5 billion per year for original and licensed content, two people familiar with the matter said. The company has never disclosed how many subscribers it won as a result, making it hard for investors to evaluate its programming decisions.

The internal documents show what Amazon considers to be the financial logic of its strategy, and why the company is now making more commercial projects in addition to high-brow shows aimed at winning awards, the people said.

For example, the first season of the popular drama “The Man in the High Castle,” an alternate history depicting Germany as the victor of World War Two, had 8 million U.S. viewers as of early 2017, according to the documents. The program cost $72 million in production and marketing and attracted 1.15 million new subscribers worldwide based on Amazon’s accounting, the documents showed.

Amazon calculated that the show drew new Prime members at an average cost of $63 per subscriber.

That is far less than the $99 that subscribers pay in the United States for Prime; the company charges similar fees abroad. Prime members also buy more goods from Amazon than non-members, Bezos has said, further boosting profit.


Precisely how Amazon determines a customer’s motivation for joining its Prime club is not clear from the documents viewed by .

(See an interactive version of the above graphic)

But a person familiar with its strategy said the company credits a specific show for luring someone to start or extend a Prime subscription if that program is the first one a customer streams after signing up. That metric, referenced th,上海夜网官方网站Kade,roughout the documents, is known as a “first stream.”

The company then calculates how expensive the viewer was to acquire by dividing the show’s costs by the number of first streams it had. The lower that figure, the better.

The internal documents do not show how long subscribers stayed with Prime, nor do they indicate how much shopping they do on Amazon. The company reviews other metrics for its programs as well. Consequently, the documents do not provide enough information to determine the overall profitability of Amazon’s Hollywood endeavor.

Still, the numbers indicate that broad-interest shows can lure Prime members cheaply by Amazon’s calculations. One big winner was the motoring series “The Grand Tour,” which stars the former presenters of BBC’s “Top Gear.” The show had more than 1.5 million first streams from Prime members worldwide, at a cost of $49 per subscriber in its first season.

The documents seen by reflect Prime subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Japan, where Amazon’s programs were available before Prime Video rolled out globally in December 2016.

Analysts estimate that 75 million or more customers have Prime subscriptions worldwide, including about half of all households in the Unit,上海夜生活乌托邦Eden,ed States.


About 26 million U.S. Prime members watched television and movies on Amazon as of early 2017. calculated this number from the documents, which showed how many viewers a TV series had as a percentage of total Prime Video customers.

Rival Netflix Inc had twice that many U.S. subscribers in the first quarter of last year. It does not disclose how many were active viewers.

For years, Amazon Studios aimed to win credibility in Hollywood with sophisticated shows beloved by critics. Its marquee series “Transparent,” about a transgender father and his family, won eight Primetime Emmy Awards and created the buzz Amazon wanted to attract top producers and actors.

Yet “Transparent” lagged Amazon’s top shows in viewership. Its first season drew a U.S. audience half as large as that of “The Man in the High Castle,” and it fell to 1.3 million viewers for its third season, according to the documents.

Similarly, “Good Girls Revolt,” a critically-acclaimed show about gender inequality in a New York newsroom, had total U.S. viewership of 1.6 million but cost $81 million, with only 52,000 first streams worldwide by Prime members.

The program’s cost per new customer was about $1560, according to the documents. Amazon canceled it after one season.

Amazon is now working on more commercial dramas and spin-offs with appeal outside the United States, where Prime membership has far more room to grow, people familiar with the matter said.

The effort to broaden Amazon’s lineup, long in the works, will be in the hands of Jennifer Salke, NBC Entertainment’s president whom Amazon hired last month as its studio chief. Amazon’s Bezos has wanted a drama to rival HBO’s global hit “Game of Thrones,” according to the people.

In November, Amazon announced it will make a prequel to the fantasy hit “The Lord of the Rings.” The company had offered $250 million for the rights alone; production and marketing could raise costs to $500 million or more for two seasons, one of the people said.

At half a billion dollars, the prequel would cost triple what Amazon paid for “The Man in the High Castle” seasons one and two, the documents show. That means it w,上海夜玩网论坛Nadia,ould need to draw three times the number of Prime members as “The Man in the High Castle” for an equal payoff.

BMW searched by German police in emissions swoop

FRANKFURT/MUNICH ( ) – BMW’s headquarters were raided on Tuesday by German prosecutors investigating the suspected use of illegal emissions control software capable of manipulating exhaust levels.

About 100 police and law enforcement officials searched the luxury carmaker’s Munich headquarters and a site in Austria, prosecutors said, adding they had opened an investigation last month against unknown persons for suspected fraud.

Legal sources said the facility searched in Austria was BMW’s engine p,上海夜生活男人好去处Sabine,lan上海夜生活网t in Steyr, where the company employs about 4,500 staff and assembles 6,000 engines a day.

“There is an early suspicion that BMW has used a test bench-related defeat device,” prosecutors said in a,上海新夜网龙凤Dahlia, written statement.

Rival Germ,上海夜生活怎么玩Larissa,an carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) admitted in 2015 to using “defeat device” software in the United States to cheat diesel engine emissions tests, plunging the company into the biggest business crisis in its 100 year history.

Since then, emissions irregularities have surfaced at several major carmakers, although none has proved as serious as at Volkswagen.

BMW, in a separate statement, said prosecutors were looking into “erroneously allocated” software in about 11,400 vehicles of the BMW 750d and BMW M550d luxury models.

Having long denied its cars are equipped with software designed to game emissions tests, BMW said the findings did not reveal a “targeted manipulation” of emissions cleaning.

BMW last month recalled 11,700 cars to fix engine management software after discovering the wrong programming had been installed.

Chicago can pursue part of Wells Fargo predatory lending case

( ) – A federal judge significantly narrowed but refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo & Co, the third-largest U.S. bank, of predatory mortgage lending targeting black and Hispanic borrowers in the Chicago area.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman ruled on Monday that Illinois’ Cook County, which includes Chicago, may pursue federal Fair Housing Act claims against Wells Far,上海夜玩网论坛Gabriella,go, to th上海夜生活论坛e extent the bank’s alleged “equity stripping” practices boosted the cost of administering and processing a higher number of foreclosures.

But Feinerman dismissed claims alleging harm from lost property taxes, the need to combat crime and blight, racial segregation and other factors, calling them “ripples” that “flow far beyo,上海夜生活群Paige,nd” Wells Fargo’s alleged misconduct.

He pointed to a May 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision, involving similar claims by the city of Miami against Wells Fargo and Bank of America Corp, allowing cities to pursue FHA claims so long as they could establish a “direct” link between the alleged misconduct and the resulting harm.

The lawsuit began in November 2014, nearly two years before San Francisco-based Wells Fargo began facing broad denunciations and a series of probes by reg,上海夜哪里艳遇Paisley,ulators and politicians into its opening of unauthorized accounts and treatment of customers.

Cook County accused Wells Fargo of steering minority borrowers into loans they could not afford, resulting in higher fees, defaults and foreclosures than for white borrowers, and rewarding employees with bonuses for offering such loans.

“While the court has allowed the lawsuit to proceed, we are encouraged by the fact that it has significantly limited the scope of the allowable claims,” Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said in an email on Tuesday. “We are prepared to defend our record as a fair and responsible lender.”

Cook County has a population of about 5.2 million, of whom about 2.7 million live in Chicago. Lawyers for the county did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other U.S. cities have brought predatory lending cases against major banks, among which are Baltimore, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

The case is County of Cook, Illinois v. Wells Fargo & Co et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 14-09548.