Mon, May 01, 2017 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ITALY

Authorities chase Amazon

Tax authorities are chasing US online retail behemoth Amazon.com Inc for 130 million euros (US$140 million) in tax on its Italian operations, local media reported on Saturday. Following similar investigations into Google and Apple Inc, tax police reportedly handed Milan prosecutors a dossier on their investigations on 2009 to 2014 returns by the world’s largest online retailer. In a statement, Amazon denied the claim, adding that it had invested about 800 million euros over the past seven years in the nation, where it employs about 2,000 people, and had reduced profits there to ramp down its tax exposure.

AUTOMAKERS

US probes GM recall

The US government is investigating whether General Motors Co should add about 312,000 vehicles to a 2015 recall for headlights that can suddenly go dark. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday said that 128 owners have complained that low-beam lights can fail. The investigation covers the 2005 and 2009 Buick Lacrosse; the 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Buick Rainier; the 2006-2008 Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X; and the 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix. At the time of the recall GM said the headlamp module in the engine compartment could overheat and stop working properly.

INTERNET

Google CEO paid US$200m

Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai last year received a US$200 million compensation package for running the Internet company that makes nearly all the money for Alphabet Inc. Most of the pay consisted of Alphabet stock that the company valued at US$198.7 million in securities documents filed on Friday. Alphabet gave the award to Pichai in January last year, a few months after he succeeded Larry Page as Google’s chief executive officer. The 44-year-old Pichai last year also received a US$650,000 salary in addition to personal security services and air travel valued at US$372,000.

TECHNOLOGY

IBM pay plan challenged

IBM’s compensation plan for top executives drew record shareholder opposition after the board last year boosted chief executive officer Ginni Rometty’s pay package more than 60 percent. About 46 percent of the votes cast at Tuesday’s annual meeting in Tampa, Florida, went against the board’s pay plan for top bosses, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. That is IBM’s lowest result since votes were first mandated for public companies in 2011. While it is not binding, 30 percent opposition is generally considered the threshold for a losing vote and a result that should prompt directors to address shareholder concerns. The board “will review the results of this vote, as is its customary practice,” IBM said in an e-mailed statement.

UTILITIES

Swiss court rejects appeal

A Swiss court has rejected an appeal by Egyptian energy companies after a French court last year ordered them to pay US$2 billion in compensation to state-owned Israel Electric Corp (IEC), the Israeli utility said. An IEC statement on Friday said that Egyptian Natural Gas and Egyptian General Petroleum Corp were liable because they were unable to fulfil their commitment to provide it with natural gas for its power stations. Egypt sold gas to Israel under a 20-year agreement that collapsed in 2012 after months of repeated attacks by insurgents on a pipeline serving Israel in Egypt’s remote Sinai Peninsula.

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