Wed, Mar 25, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

Union members detained

A Russian union official said on Monday that 15 members had been briefly detained by police as tensions rose in disputes involving Volkswagen and Peugeot factories. Dmitry Trudovoi of the MPRA union said the 15 were detained on Saturday while meeting at the union’s office, were held for about two hours and questioned about union activities by police from an “anti-extremism” unit. Police were quoted by Russia’s Interfax agency as saying that 12 activists were held as part of an investigation into a theft near the union office.

AUTOMAKERS

GM to pay compensation

Chevrolet, part of General Motors Co (GM) of the US, was on Monday ordered to pay its French dealers nearly 8 million euros (US$8.5 million) in compensation by a Paris court for the “brutal” withdrawal of its brand from Europe. GM announced in December 2013 that it was withdrawing Chevrolets this year due to poor sales. Seventeen dealers had claimed damages of 33 million euros, after alleging that Chevrolet France had put pressure on dealerships that did not accept their initial offer of compensation.

RETAILERS

H&M profit beats estimates

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) AB, Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, reported a first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the company extended its offering of sportswear, shoes and beauty products. Net income rose 36 percent to 3.61 billion kronor (US$423 million) in the three months ending on Feb. 28, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement yesterday. The average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for 3.32 billion kronor. H&M also said sales in the first three weeks of this month rose 9 percent in local currency terms.

BANKING

Deutsche Bank in rate probe

Deutsche Bank is under investigation in New York state for rigging the LIBOR interest rate, a person familiar with the probe said on Monday. Germany’s largest bank is suspected of having participated with other banks in a “vast manipulation of LIBOR,” the person said. The probe is led by Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services in New York state. The information about Lawsky’s probe was first reported by the Financial Times on Monday.

INTERNET

New suffixes snapped up

The singer Taylor Swift, Microsoft Corp and Harvard University were among those buying up .porn and .adult Web suffixes as a pre-emptive move before the domain names become available this summer. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is making Internet address suffixes beyond the usual .com or .org available for people and businesses to use. According to the site, Microsoft has bought not only Microsoft.porn but Office.porn and Office.adult as well. Representatives for Taylor Swift, Microsoft and Harvard could not immediately be reached for comment.

INTERNET

Instagram releases new app

Instagram on Monday released a standalone application that makes it easy to create collages of iPhone pictures. Features of the new application by the Facebook-owned smartphone photo sharing service include the ability to automatically find pictures containing faces and the option to share the collages on Facebook as well as on Instagram.

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