Australia passes landmark law requiring tech firms to pay for news

  by Andrew BEATTY Agence France Presse SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Facebook and Google will be forced to pay for Australian news under legislation passed Thursday that is being closely watched globally for precedents in the battle between Big Tech and media companies. The world-first law passed easily after the Australian government agreed to water down elements most fiercely opposed by the tech giants, in return for both agreeing to negotiate paid deals with local […]

UK economy shrinks record 9.9% in 2020 on virus

by Roland JACKSON LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s economy shrank by a record 9.9 percent last year on the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic despite managing strong growth in the second half, official data showed Friday. Finance minister Rishi Sunak said the economy had suffered a “serious shock” from the Covid-19 global health crisis. The data came one week after the Bank of England forecast economic recovery on the back of Britain’s successful ongoing […]

Air Canada suspends US, international routes and lays off 1,500

  MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Air Canada announced Tuesday the suspension of 17 US and international routes until the end of April and layoffs of 1,500 workers, citing a drop in demand for travel after a tightening of public health restrictions to slow the spread of new Covid-19 variants. The cancellations to be phased in over the coming days will affect flights between Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, New York, Seattle and Washington as well as […]

Globe myBusiness Provides Digital Solutions to Empower Businesses in the Next Normal

Businesses have suffered great losses and struggled to stay afloat as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Those without a digital presence were doubly challenged to operate in a market overrun by competitors with an already established audience. Given these challenges, Globe myBusiness is helping businesses power through this next normal. Globe offers tried-and-tested digital solutions, an impressive, reliable network, and empowering learning events—all of which are aimed at helping build stronger and better businesses this 2021. […]

Indonesia virus-hit economy posts first yearly contraction since 1998

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia on Friday logged its first annual contraction since the 1998 Asian financial crisis, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The country’s gross domestic product fell 2.07 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, the statistics agency said, with transportation and tourism among the hardest-hit sectors. Friday’s data marked the first time Indonesia’s economy contracted on a full-year basis since it was in the depths of the regional […]

Spotify losses triple in 2020 despite more subscribers

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) — Swedish music streaming giant Spotify on Wednesday reported a tripled net loss in 2020, citing increased operating expenses, even as the number of paying subscribers continued to increase. At the end of 2020, the number of monthly active users was 345 million, a 27-percent increase compared with a year earlier. Paying subscribers, the main source of revenue for the streaming service, stood at 155 million, a 24-percent increase. Spotify, which is […]

Bezos to step down as CEO of Amazon this year

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Jeff Bezos said Tuesday he would give up his role as chief executive of Amazon later this year as the tech and e-commerce giant reported a surge in profit and revenue in the holiday quarter. The company said Andy Jassy, who heads Amazon Web Services, would take over as CEO in the third quarter. The announcement came as Amazon reported a blowout holiday quarter with profits more than doubling to […]

Pfizer estimates $15 bn in 2021 sales for Covid-19 vaccine

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Sales of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech could reach up to $15 billion in 2021 and go higher if Pfizer signs additional supply contracts, Pfizer said Tuesday. The projections came as Pfizer projected full-year 2021 sales of between $59.4 billion and $61.4 billion, meaning that about one-fourth of estimated total sales will come from the Covid-19 vaccine. The forecast reflects “a continued recovery in macroeconomic […]

Samsung Electronics profit spikes on pandemic-driven demand

  by Sunghee Hwang Agence France Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker reported fourth-quarter net profits up by more than a quarter year-on-year Thursday, with coronavirus-driven working from home boosting demand for devices powered by its chips. But the figures were below market expectations according to Bloomberg News, and the company warned of persisting uncertainties over the pandemic, and lower profits in Q1 2021 due […]

Spain economy shrinks 11% in 2020: statistics institute

  MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Spain’s economy contracted sharply by 11 percent in 2020 due to the upheaval triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Statistics Institute said in a first estimate published Friday. The figure is largely in line with the fall of 11.2 percent predicted by Spain’s government although the International Monetary Fund had seen a sharper contraction of 12.8 percent. France also saw its economy shrink by 8.3 percent in 2020, Germany […]

Facebook profit surges percent as pandemic fuels use

  Facebook profit surged in the final three months of last year as people enduring the holidays in a pandemic turned to the leading social network for work and pleasure, the company said Wednesday. Facebook reported profit of $11.2 billion on revenue of $28 billion, increases of 53 percent and 33 percent when compared with the same period the prior year. “We had a strong end to the year as people and businesses continued to […]

Apple profit soars, revenue tops $100 bn for first time

Apple said Wednesday that profits surged in the final three months of the year on growing sales of iPhones and services, which lifted revenues to an all-time record. Profit in the period ended December 26 rose 29 percent from a year ago to $28.7 billion, while revenues grew 21 percent to $111.4 billion, with international sales accounting for nearly two-thirds of sales. Sales topped the $100 billion mark for the first time as Apple won […]