LVMH to win EU antitrust approval for Tiffany deal: sources

By Foo Yun Chee



a close up of a computer: FILE PHOTO: Tiffany & Co. jewelry is displayed in a store in Paris


© Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
FILE PHOTO: Tiffany & Co. jewelry is displayed in a store in Paris


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – French luxury goods group LVMH is set to gain EU antitrust approval for its acquisition of U.S. jeweller Tiffany , people familiar with the matter said.

The EU decision comes amid a legal battle between LVMH and Tiffany, with the latter suing the Louis Vuitton owner in a Delaware court, alleging that the French company has deliberately been stalling the completion of the deal.



a sign on a brick building: FILE PHOTO: A LVMH luxury group logo is seen prior to the announcement of their 2019 results in Paris


© Reuters/Christian Hartmann
FILE PHOTO: A LVMH luxury group logo is seen prior to the announcement of their 2019 results in Paris

Tiffany has alleged that LVMH has improperly tried to renegotiate the deal, which was agreed in November last year before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and hit countries and companies worldwide.

Loading...

Load Error

LVMH has countersued Tiffany, alleging that the U.S. company has been mismanaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by Oct. 26, declined to comment. LVMH and Tiffany did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The two companies had several overlaps in some areas but these are not serious enough to trigger competition concerns, the people said.

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment and antitrust enforcers in Australia, Canada, China and South Korea have already given the green light to the deal.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Silvia Aloisi in Milan and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman)

Continue Reading

Source Article

Europe Can Win Electric Car Sales Race If It Learns From China

(Bloomberg) — Sales of electric vehicles in Europe are growing at such a pace that the continent looks increasingly likely to outpace China in the near future.

Loading...

Load Error

That’s one of the findings of a report released Tuesday by London-based automotive research firm Jato Dynamics. However, it found that Europe and the U.S. still have a few things to learn from China, the world’s biggest EV market, including prioritizing affordability, centralizing planning, and using data to better understand consumers.

Demand for cleaner and smarter cars is rising globally, particularly in Europe where the market has been bolstered by tighter emissions regulations along with an increasing awareness of climate change. EV sales in Europe in the first half exceeded China for the first time since 2015.

Although the coronavirus pandemic hurt all car sales, including EVs, which fell 15% globally in the second quarter, the market for electric vehicles is forecast to expand about 7% this year, led by Europe, according to a September report from BloombergNEF.

“What governments in underdeveloped EV markets now need is a more centralized plan to catalyze growth and create an optimal environment to build consumer confidence by making adoptions as simple as possible,” Jato’s report said.

Charging Stations

Besides heavily subsidizing EVs, the government in China has created an effective infrastructure and implementation strategy that’s crucial to supporting adoption, the report found. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of public slow- and fast-charging spots reached 862,118 worldwide, with China taking a 60% share.

Tesla Inc., the California-based company that’s currently the world’s biggest EV maker, earlier this month cut the price of its China-made Model 3 sedan to 249,900 yuan ($36,800), cheaper than anywhere else, aided by supply chain localization, especially batteries.

While subsidies in China are being dialed back, EVs are

2 Stanford economists win Nobel prize for improving auctions

Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2020 at a press conference in Stockholm, Monday Oct. 12, 2020. Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2020 at a press conference in Stockholm, Monday Oct. 12, 2020. Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

AP

Two American economists won the Nobel Prize for improving how auctions work, research that underlies much of today’s economy — from the way Google sells advertising to the way telecoms companies acquire airwaves from the government.

The discoveries of Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, both of Stanford University, “have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” the Nobel Committee said.

Wilson was once Milgrom’s Ph.D. adviser, and the two also happen to be neighbors. Reached by phone at his home in California, Milgrom said he received news of their win “in a strange way.”

“I got a knock at my door from Bob Wilson,” he told The Associated Press.

Milgrom, 72, said students, friends and colleagues had long suggested he and Wilson, 83, might be due for the prize.

“It’s nice to have their respect but their affection as well,” he said.

Technically known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award was established in 1969 and is now widely considered one of the Nobel prizes.

The two men tackled the tricky problem of making auctions work efficiently. The committee said Wilson’s work showed “why rational bidders tend to place bids below their own best estimate of the common value.”

The effects of their work can be seen all around. “Online advertising is sold at auction,” said David Warsh, who tracks economic research at his blog Economic Principals. “That Google was able to

SpaceX, L3Harris win missile-warning satellite contracts from US military

The U.S. military has picked SpaceX and L3Harris Technologies to build up a new missile-warning satellite system in space.

In separate contracts, SpaceX and L3Harris will each provide four infrared satellites devoted to missile tracking as part of the larger National Defense Space Architecture program. The contract, awarded by the Department of Defense’s Space Development Agency (SDA), gives $193.5 million to L3Harris and $149 million to SpaceX. The satellites should be ready by the end of fiscal year 2022. 

“The satellites will be able to provide missile tracking data for hypersonic glide vehicles, and the next generation of advanced missile threats,” Derek Tournear, SDA director, said in a statement.

Related: What is a ballistic missile and how does it work?

SpaceX, originally a launch provider using its Falcon rockets, has entered the satellite construction market with its Starlink constellation of internet satellites. The company has launched more than 700 of the satellites in the last two years  and manufactures them at a facility in Seattle, Washington. L3Harris is an aerospace company with a history of military contracts for aircraft and missile defense. 

The new missile-tracking satellites will provide information to a separate set of 28 “transport satellites,” which will take offensive action based on what the missile trackers find. Construction for the 28 transport satellites will be awarded in a separate solicitation, SDA added.

“The transport satellites are the backbone of the National Defense Space Architecture,” Tournear said. “They take data from multiple tracking systems, fuse those, and are able to calculate a fire control solution, and then the transport satellites will be able to send those data down directly to a weapons platform via a tactical data link, or some other means.”

Taken together, the transport satellites and the missile-tracking satellites will be the first “tranche”

Spotify is leaning on influencers to win the podcasting wars

Spotify has made its intentions clear: It wants to be the largest audio platform in the world—not just music, audio.

Exclusive podcast partnerships have been a significant part of that effort, and while deals with the likes of the Obamas and Joe Rogan have received most of the attention (and controversy), less celebrated but no less important are Spotify’s wooing of influencers to podcast and to do so using Spotify’s tools and distribution.

“In order for us to continue our growth and our trajectory, we knew we wanted to broaden out what being an audio network really means,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content officer, at Fast Company’s 6th annual Innovation Festival. “And podcasting, which is the fastest growing medium right now particularly among young people, was the natural next step.”

Over the past several months, Spotify has struck deals with influencers, including Rickey Thompson, Denzel Dion, Addison Rae, and Lele Pons. For Spotify and its podcast listeners (median age: 26 years old), leaning on the massive audiences of influencers is a way to tap directly into the Gen Z market and cut their entertainment clutter.

“It’s hard to capture the attention of this youth generation,” Ostroff said. “Everything is on demand, so they can get everything anytime they want. And being able to stand out in that crowd and have an audience and have people want to either see or hear any particular person is a Herculean task these days.”

And for the influencers, signing deals with Spotify gives them the backing of a major platform to find new ways to connect with their audiences.

“[I wanted people to] get a glimpse into the other side of my life that people don’t hear about or see,” says Rae, who hosts the Spotify podcast Mama Knows Best with her mother.