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Apple's Cook criticises proposed changes to draft EU tech rules
  + stars: | 2021-06-16 | by ( ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: 1 min
CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File PhotoBRUSSELS/PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - Apple (AAPL.O) Chief Executive Tim Cook on Wednesday said that proposed changes to a draft EU tech law known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) were not in the best interest of users. Cook did not mention what the changes he was referring to. EU lawmaker Andreas Schwab, who is leading the European Parliament scrutiny of tech rules proposed by the European Commission, wants to toughen up the legislation and also narrow its scope to only Alphabet unit Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Mathieu Rosemain in Paris;Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Tim Cook, Stephen Lam, Cook, Andreas Schwab, Foo Yun Chee, Mathieu Rosemain Organizations: REUTERS, Digital Markets, European Commission, Apple, Facebook, Thomson Locations: Cupertino , California, U.S, BRUSSELS, PARIS, Paris, Brussels
CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File PhotoBRUSSELS/PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - Apple (AAPL.O) boss Tim Cook took aim on Wednesday at proposed European rules aimed at curbing the power of U.S. tech giants, saying they could pose security and privacy risks to iPhones. Cook, in his first public comments about the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, said parts were good but others were not. He said he feared the draft rules would lead to more installing of apps that do not come via Apple's App Store, or "side-loading". read moreApple would take part in the debate and try to find a way forward, Cook said.
Persons: Tim Cook, Stephen Lam, Cook, Margrethe Vestager, Andreas Schwab, Foo Yun Chee, Mathieu Rosemain Organizations: REUTERS, Digital Markets, Apple, Google, Facebook, Thomson Locations: Cupertino , California, U.S, BRUSSELS, PARIS, VivaTech, France, Brussels, Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a conference at the VivaTech startup and tech event which fifth edition is taking place from June 16 to 19 at the Expo Porte de Versailles, and online, in Paris, France June 16, 2021. Alain Jocard/Pool via REUTERSPARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - Whether to break up dominant U.S. technology players is a legitimate question, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday at a panel at France's biggest tech show Viva Tech. Macron on Tuesday outlined an ambitious push for Europe to create 10 technology giants worth 100 billion euros ($121.26 billion) each in valuation by 2030, in a bid to rival U.S. companies that dominate the sector. read moreReporting by Mathieu Rosemain; editing by Mark HeinrichOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron, Versailles, Alain Jocard, Mathieu Rosemain, Mark Heinrich Our Organizations: REUTERS, Viva Tech, Macron, Thomson Locations: Paris, France, REUTERS PARIS, Europe
France's President Emmanuel Macron holds a news conference during the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2021. "So the more ... we elaborate and increase the strength of this place the more you will attract investors coming from the United States an China." Four years on, France's startup scene has prospered, with more than a dozen so-called unicorns, or companies valued 1 billion euros or more. French startups raised a record 5.4 billion euros in 2020, up 7% from a year earlier, according to EY. None of the biggest global digital companies are European, however, and some market debuts of highly anticipated IPOs, like that of French digital music company Believe (BLV.PA), were disappointing.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron, Christian Hartmann PARIS, Macron, Mathieu Rosemain, Matthew Lewis Organizations: NATO, REUTERS, Viva Tech, Thomson Locations: Brussels, Belgium, U.S, Europe, Paris, United States, China
CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File PhotoBRUSSELS/PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - Apple (AAPL.O) boss Tim Cook took aim on Wednesday at proposed European rules aimed at curbing the power of U.S. tech giants, saying they could pose security and privacy risks to iPhones. Cook, in his first public comments about the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, said parts were good but others were not. He said he feared the draft rules would lead to more installing of apps that do not come via Apple's App Store, or "side-loading". Apple would take part in the debate and try to find a way forward, Cook said.
Persons: Tim Cook, Stephen Lam, Cook, Margrethe Vestager, Andreas Schwab, Foo Yun Chee, Mathieu Rosemain Organizations: REUTERS, Digital Markets, Apple, Google, Facebook, Thomson Locations: Cupertino , California, U.S, BRUSSELS, PARIS, VivaTech, France, Brussels, Paris
France's OVHcloud re-commits to IPO after fire, gives no timetable
  + stars: | 2021-06-14 | by ( Mathieu Rosemain | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - French cloud computing services provider OVHcloud re-committed on Monday to an initial public offering (IPO) on Euronext’s Paris stock exchange but provided no timetable and no fundraising target. This compares with the 30% yearly net sales growth reported by Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud computing branch, which is the world’s market leader. The company later had to shut down two other data centres at the same site in Strasbourg after smoke was detected at an unconnected battery room. Based in Roubaix near Belgium, OVHcloud employs 2,450 people and has more than 30 data centres worldwide. French politicians have championed OVHcloud as a possible alternative to U.S. cloud services providers, but it has so far lacked the scale and financial clout to dent their market share.
Persons: OVHcloud Organizations: OVHcloud, Amazon Web Services, Google, KKR, TowerBrook Capital Partners Locations: France, Strasbourg, Roubaix, Belgium, OVHcloud
France's OVHcloud about to announce IPO plan - source
  + stars: | 2021-06-13 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) - French cloud computing services provider OVHcloud is about to set out its plan to list the company’s shares on Euronext’s Paris stock exchange, a source close to the matter said, confirming an earlier report by weekly JDD. The announcement will include a timetable for the initial public offering (IPO), which would be one of France’s biggest this year and could value the company at several billion euros, according to several analysts, the source said. Founded by Octave Klaba in 1999, OVHcloud competes mostly with U.S. firms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud, which dominate the market. Based in Roubaix near Belgium, OVHcloud employs 2,450 people and has 32 data centres worldwide. The incident occurred shortly after OVHcloud announced plans for a potential initial public offering of its shares.
Persons: JDD, OVHcloud, Octave Klaba, Mathieu Rosemain, Elaine Hardcastle Organizations: OVHcloud, U.S, Amazon Web Services, Google Locations: Roubaix, Belgium, OVHcloud, Strasbourg, France
Bollore won't seek exemption of tender offer rules on Vivendi
  + stars: | 2021-06-11 | by ( Mathieu Rosemain | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.93   time to read: +2 min
PARIS (Reuters) - French billionaire Vincent Bollore’s family-owned group has pledged to media giant Vivendi that it will not request an exemption to file a tender offer on Vivendi’s shares if it crosses the 30% threshold in capital ownership or voting rights, Vivendi said. Bollore’s group said in a letter to Vivendi that it could also sell some of its Vivendi shares if were to participate in the share capital reduction by tendering its shares. Glass Lewis cited concerns expressed by activist fund Bluebell that Bollore could use this tool to increase his stake in the media group without making a tender offer. Glass Lewis and ISS have recommended Vivendi shareholders vote in favour of the spin-off plans, which would see Universal being listed in Amsterdam. The deal includes the distribution of 60% of Universal’s shares to Vivendi shareholders.
Persons: Vincent Bollore’s, Charles Platiau, Glass Lewis, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift Organizations: PARIS, Vivendi, REUTERS, ISS, Bluebell, Universal Music, Universal Locations: Paris, France, Amsterdam
LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) -Billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Altice Group has bought a 12.1% stake worth about 2.2 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) in Britain’s BT Group, becoming its largest shareholder. “Altice holds the board and management team of BT in high regard and is supportive of their strategy,” Altice UK, a company formed for the purpose of holding the BT stake, said. The stake puts Altice ahead of Deutsche Telekom, which owned 12.06% of BT based on recent filings, Refinitiv data shows. “Altice UK has informed the BT board that it does not intend to make a takeover offer for BT,” it added. We are making good progress in delivering our strategy and plan,” BT said in a statement following Altice UK’s announcement.
Persons: Patrick Drahi’s, Altice, “ Altice, , , Drahi Organizations: Britain’s BT Group, SFR, BT, Deutsche Telekom, “ Altice, Britain’s, ” BT, Vivendi Locations: PARIS, France, Orange, Switzerland, United States, Israel, U.S
REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File PhotoDrahi’s newly-created vehicle Altice UK announced the holding in a statement on Thursday which drove BT’s shares to a 17-month high. Altice UK is owned by Next Alt, dealmaker Drahi’s private holding, which also controls SFR, the second largest telecoms operator in France behind Orange. “Altice holds the board and management team of BT in high regard and is supportive of their strategy,” Altice UK, a company formed for the purpose of holding the BT stake, said. “Altice UK has informed the BT board that it does not intend to make a takeover offer for BT,” it added. Altice UK has ruled itself out of making a full takeover offer for six months by virtue of its statement.
Persons: Patrick Drahi, Rafael Marchante, “ Altice, , , Jefferies, Altice, Drahi, Morgan Stanley Organizations: BT Group, REUTERS, SFR, Orange, BT, “ Altice, Britain’s, Deutsche Telekom, Vivendi Locations: PARIS, Lisbon, Portugal, France, British, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Israel, Europe, Dominican Republic, U.S
Google agrees to alter ad practices after France imposes fine
  + stars: | 2021-06-07 | by ( Mathieu Rosemain | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
The logo of Google is seen on a building at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, September 1, 2020. The watchdog said the decision opens the way for publishers who felt disadvantaged to seek damages from Google. Many publishers globally have expressed unhappiness over ad practices employed by the tech giants. The French competition authority's investigation focused on the tools Google offers publishers online to sell and manage online ads. Under the terms of the settlement, Google offered commitments to improve the interoperability of Google Ad Manager services with third-party ad server and ad space sales platform, the watchdog said.
Persons: Charles Platiau, Isabelle de Silva, De Silva, didn't, AdX, Google AdX, Le Figaro Organizations: Google, La Defense, REUTERS, Facebook, News Corp, Thomson Locations: Courbevoie, Paris, France, , California, Belgian
REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File PhotoGoogle (GOOGL.O) said it would make changes to its global advertising business to ensure it did not abuse its dominance, bowing to antitrust pressure for the first time in a landmark settlement with French authorities. The watchdog found that Google's ad management platform for large publishers - Google Ad Manager - favoured the company's own online ad marketplace - Google AdX - where publishers sell space to advertisers in real-time. Ad Manager provided AdX with strategic data such as the winning bidding prices, while AdX also enjoyed privileged access to requests made by advertisers via Google's ad services, the authority said. AdX, in turn, exchanged data more smoothly with Ad Manager than it did with other advertising management platforms, the watchdog added. Under the terms of the settlement, Google made commitments to improve the way Ad Manager services worked with rival ad servers and ad space sales platforms, the French watchdog said.
Persons: Charles Platiau, Isabelle de Silva, AdX, Bruno Le Maire, Le Figaro Organizations: Google, La Defense, REUTERS, Facebook, Ad, French Finance, News Corp, Thomson Locations: Courbevoie, Paris, France, Belgian
The logo of Google is seen on a building at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File PhotoAlphabet's Google (GOOGL.O) agreed to make changes to some of its widely-used online advertising services under a settlement with France's antitrust watchdog released on Monday. The authority also fined the Mountain View, California-based company 220 million euros ($267.48 million) after a probe found it abused its market power in the intricate ad business online, where some its tools have become almost essential for large publishers. "The decision to sanction Google is of particular significance because it's the first decision in the world focusing on the complex algorithmic auction processes on which the online ad business relies," said France's antitrust chief Isabelle de Silva. De Silva said the fine was reduced because of the settlement, but she did not give specifics.
Persons: Charles Platiau, Isabelle de Silva, De Silva Organizations: Google, La Defense, REUTERS, Thomson Locations: Courbevoie, Paris, France, , California
Google is making changes to its ad services after France's antitrust watchdog fined it $267 million. Google said it would improve its ad services with third-party ad server and ad space sales platform. The FCA's investigation focused on the tools Google offers publishers online to sell and manage online ads. The watchdog found that Google Ad Manager, the firm's ad management platform for large publishers favoured AdX, its own online ad marketplace, where publishers sell space to advertisers in real-time. Under the terms of the settlement, Google offered commitments to improve the interoperability of Google Ad Manager services with third-party ad server and ad space sales platform, the watchdog said.
Persons: Isabelle de Silva, De Silva, didn't, AdX, Google AdX, Le Figaro Organizations: Google, , Facebook, French Competition Authority, News Corp Locations: California, Belgian
French finance minister says G7 tax deal a 'starting point'
  + stars: | 2021-06-05 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.78   time to read: 1 min
PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday the Group of Seven agreement to commit to a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15% was a “starting point” and pledged to fight to hike it further. “This is a starting point and in the coming months we will fight to ensure that this minimum corporate tax rate is as high as possible,” Le Maire said in a video posted on his Twitter account. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gilles Guillaume Editing by Mark Potter)
Persons: Bruno Le Maire, , ” Le Maire, Mathieu Rosemain, Gilles Guillaume, Mark Potter Organizations: French Finance
William 'Bill' Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBillionaire William Ackman's Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH.N) is in talks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group for around $4 billion, the latest investor to join the fray as the label's owner Vivendi's cashes in on its prize asset. "Universal Music Group is one of the greatest businesses in the world," said Bill Ackman, CEO of PSTH. SPACs such as Pershing Square Tontine raise money in an initial public offering with the aim of merging with a private company. Nearly a year ago, in July 2020, Pershing Square raised $4 billion in what was the biggest IPO by a blank-check firm.
Persons: William, Bill, Ackman, Brendan McDermid, William Ackman's, Vivendi's, Vincent Bollore, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Bill Ackman, Erik Gordon Organizations: Pershing, Capital Management, Sohn Investment, REUTERS, Tontine Holdings, Universal Music Group, Vivendi, Universal Music, HK, Universal, University of Michigan, Ackman, Bluebell, Thomson Locations: New York City, U.S, Amsterdam, Ackman
William 'Bill' Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2017. Instead, Tontine shareholders will receive Universal shares once the music label's stock market flotation is completed. Tontine investors will also receive warrants in a new blank-check company launched by Ackman that will pursue another, yet-to-be-determined deal. Pershing Square said on Friday it would backstop any potential financing gap with its other funds. Investors in the SPAC will get Universal shares when they are listed, but will not be able to exercise their current warrants.
Persons: William, Bill, Ackman, Brendan McDermid William Ackman's, Tontine, Vincent Bollore, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Goldman Sachs, Bernstein Organizations: Pershing, Capital Management, Sohn Investment, REUTERS, Tontine Holdings, Universal Music Group, Vivendi SA, Universal, Holdings, Investors, Rights Company, SPARC, Vivendi, Universal Music, HK, Ackman, Bluebell, Thomson Locations: New York City, U.S, Amsterdam, United States, SPAC, AMSTERDAM, Ackman
REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud/File PhotoU.S. social media giant Facebook (FB.O) has offered to commit to providing its partners with clear and objective conditions of access to advertising inventories and ad campaign data, France's antitrust authority said on Thursday following an investigation. FMPs are part of a group of more than 100 technology providers that offer advertisers services to improve their online ad campaigns, the watchdog said. The watchdog's investigation found that Facebook's practices were "likely" to impair access to advertising inventories and ad campaign data on Facebook. Criteo said it would review Facebook's commitments over coming weeks. "We are encouraged by Facebook's commitments around maintaining an objective and non-discriminatory partner program," it said.
Persons: Valentin Flauraud, Facebook's, Criteo Organizations: REUTERS, Facebook, Thomson Locations: Lavigny
PARIS (Reuters) -French digital music company Believe announced on Tuesday that it had reduced its initial public offering target to 300 million euros($367 million), 40% less than it had said last month when it first disclosed its plans for a share listing in Paris. Chief Executive Officer Denis Ladegaillerie told reporters that the more modest target did not reflect any lack of investor appetite. “We reduce the dilution for them, and it is much more effective in creating value for the shareholders who enter today,” Ladegaillerie said. Believe plans to sell a maximum of 15.4 million shares via the listing (IPO), within a price range of 19.50 to 22.50 euros per share, thus giving the company a market value between 1.9 and 2.1 billion euros. It confirmed it was targeting revenue growth at constant exchange rates of around 20% this year, after 2020 sales of 441 million euros.
Persons: Denis Ladegaillerie, ” Ladegaillerie Organizations: PARIS, Apple Music Locations: Paris, France
Gilles Pelisson, CEO of French television channel TF1 arrives at the "Tech for Good" Summit in Paris, France May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles PlatiauAny demand by France's antitrust watchdog for M6 or TF1 to sell either of their flagship channels as a condition for approving their proposed merger would be a deal breaker, TF1 boss Gilles Pelisson said on Wednesday. "If there was a demand for a sale of either TF1 or M6 channel as part of the remedies, neither group would accept that," Pelisson said in a call with analysts. TF1's chief executive also mentioned the risk of having the two TV groups' licence not renewed by the French broadcasting authority CSA as another potential deal breaker. "We did... You may conclude that if we are here this morning... there was favourable welcome to this project," he said.
Persons: Gilles Pelisson, Charles Platiau, Pelisson Organizations: TF1, Tech, Good, REUTERS, Germany's Bertelsmann, CSA, Amazon, Thomson Locations: Paris, France
A combined TF1 and M6 would, however, hold sway over three-quarters of France's TV advertising market, a threshold likely to trigger alarm bells at the country's antitrust authority. A source close to the matter said the companies had made informal approaches to the regulator ahead of the announcement. The share of French TV in the overall ad in France, for example, has slumped 25% on average over the last two years, according to Kepler Cheuvreux, as viewers abandon traditional TV habits in favour of on-demand series, movies and shows. "From a strategic perspective, the obvious aim is to create a French national champion with scale to compete with the global streaming giants," said Ian Whittaker, an independent analyst. The idea that French antitrust regulations might be outdated when it comes to TV and advertising - and the sale of M6 in particular - has become a subject of debate within the watchdog.
Persons: Kepler, Ian Whittaker, Isabelle de Silva, De Silva Organizations: Monday, TF1, AT, Discovery, Netflix, Disney, Bertelsmann, Thomson Locations: U.S, France, French
REUTERS/Paresh Dave/File PhotoSome of France's most sensitive state and corporate data can be safely stored using the cloud computing technology developed by Alphabet's Google (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O), if it is licensed to French companies, the government said on Monday. "We therefore decided that the best companies - I'm thinking in particular of Microsoft or Google - could license all or part of their technology to French companies," Le Maire said at a news conference. Le Maire did not mention Amazon. OVHcloud and Dassault Systemes' Outscale are two French companies that already fulfil these criteria. OVHcloud said late last year it had partnered with Google to build its cloud computing capacities.
Persons: Paresh Dave, Bruno Le Maire, Le Maire, France's, OVHcloud, Digital Affairs Cedric O Organizations: REUTERS, Google, Microsoft, French Finance, Amazon, Dassault, Digital Affairs, Thomson Locations: Mountain View , California, U.S, Europe, United States, France, American, Germany
REUTERS/Charles Platiau(This May 12 story corrects to read 1.1 billion, paragraph 8)French media giant Vivendi (VIV.PA) said on Wednesday that the equity of its most prized asset, Universal Music Group, was worth 33 billion euros ($40 billion), or more than the market value of the parent company. Universal's parent company has a market value of 32 billion euros, according to Refinitiv data. In its documents, Vivendi said that Universal was drawing interest from potential investors and that it could sell some of its 20% stake to a "strategic partner" ahead of the distribution of Universal's shares. There will be about 1.1 billion Universal shares distributed to Vivendi's shareholders, according to the documents. Dividing the valuation corresponding to 60% of Universal by the exact number of shares gives a price per Universal share of 18.2 euros.
Persons: Charles Platiau, Vincent Bollore, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift Organizations: Vivendi, REUTERS, Universal Music Group, Universal, Thomson Locations: Paris, Amsterdam, The Paris
REUTERS/Charles PlatiauPARIS (Reuters) - French media giant Vivendi said on Wednesday that the equity of its most prized asset, Universal Music Group, was worth 33 billion euros ($40 billion), or more than the market value of the parent company. This means the 60% stake distributed to Vivendi’s shareholders is worth 19.8 billion euros. Universal’s parent company has a market value of 32 billion euros, according to Refinitiv data. There will be about 1.1 billion Universal shares distributed to Vivendi’s shareholders, according to the documents. Dividing the valuation corresponding to 60% of Universal by the exact number of shares gives a price per Universal share of 18.2 euros.
Persons: Charles Platiau PARIS, Vincent Bollore, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift Organizations: Vivendi, REUTERS, Universal Music Group, Universal, Spotify Locations: Paris, Amsterdam, The Paris
French start-up Shift Technology, a developer of software to help insurers detect fraudsters, has closed a $220 million fundraising that brings its valuation to over $1 billion, it said on Thursday. "This includes products specifically designed for the health insurance market to help avoid improper payments," said Jeremy Jawish, Shift Technology's CEO and co-founder. Shift Technology's software analyses insurance claims and can help insurers to identify when a bad actor may be using a policy to commit crimes, such as money laundering. The fundraising brings total investments made in Shift Technology to $320 million and increases the value of the company to $1 billion, the firm said. The company, which employs 350 people, said it will seek to enter the property and casualty insurance market and expand in the health insurance sector.
Persons: Jeremy Jawish, Alan, Avenir, Catalyst, Iris Capital Organizations: France's AXA, Technology, Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Iris, Thomson Locations: Hong Kong
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