Wed, Aug 14, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTO INDUSTRY

India car sales drop further

India’s domestic passenger vehicle sales fell for the ninth straight month last month, an auto industry body said yesterday, amid a deepening crisis in the nation’s automobile sector that has triggered large-scale job losses. Sales of passenger vehicles to auto dealers fell 30.9 percent to 200,790, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed. Commercial vehicles sales dropped 25.7 percent to 56,866 units, SIAM said. Motorcycle and scooters sales declined 16.8 percent to about 1.51 million units, while passenger car sales fell 36 percent to 122,956 units, the data showed.

BEVERAGES

Diageo to sell Cuban rum

A subsidiary of British drinks giant Diageo PLC on Monday announced a joint venture with Havana’s state distiller to market and distribute Cuban rum, defying US efforts to block foreign investment in the communist-run country. The Diageo subsidiary and state company Cuba Ron will be equal partners in Santiago SA, a company that will internationally market the Santiago de Cuba brand, one of the island’s premium spirits. To comply with US law, the Diageo subsidiary would have no interaction with any of the beverage group’s US-based businesses or involve any US employees.

COSMETICS

L’Oreal guilty of trade theft

L’Oreal SA must pay a California-based start-up US$91.4 million for stealing its trade secrets, breaching a contract and infringing two patents related to a popular system that protects hair during bleaching treatments, a federal jury ruled on Monday. Olaplex LLC had accused the French giant of stealing the secrets in a meeting in California in 2015, when the companies were in talks for L’Oreal to buy the start-up. L’Oreal, during a week-long trial in Wilmington, Delaware, said it independently conceived the use of a critical acid in August 2014 and developed its products on its own. The jury also found that L’Oreal’s acts were intentional, leaving the door open for the judge to substantially increase the damages if he chooses.

INTERNET

Verizon selling Tumblr

Verizon Communications Inc agreed to sell the blogging platform Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the latest sign the wireless giant is dismantling its online empire. Terms of the transaction were not material, Verizon said, suggesting Tumblr sold for a tiny fraction of the US$1.1 billion it fetched in 2013. Verizon acquired the site as part of its 2017 purchase of Yahoo. Automattic already owns a group of publishing sites, including WordPress and Longreads, and sees Tumblr as a good fit. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the sale, saying that Automattic would take on about 200 staffers.

TELECOMS

Huawei hires trade lobby

Huawei Technologies Co (華為) has hired the law firm Sidley Austin LLP to lobby on trade as the US pressures allies to join it in blacklisting the Chinese telecom giant, which has found itself increasingly mired in US President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing. The lobbying, which began last month, will focus on export controls, trade sanctions “and other national security-related topics,” according to a disclosure filed with the US Senate. The document shows that Huawei is deepening its ties to Sidley Austin, which is already working on the company’s legal challenges in the US, while also ramping up its lobbying presence.

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