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Business News - part 36

Pharmaceutical Giant Merck Cuts 8,500 Jobs To Save Costs

Pharmaceutical Giant Merck Cuts 8,500 Jobs To Save Costs

BUSINESS

  • Merck cuts 8,500 jobs to reduce operating expenses
  • Merck to focus efforts on more high-growth opportunities, including diabetes and cancer
  • Competition from generic drugs impacts pharmaceutical industry as a whole

Merck & Co, the second-biggest US drugmaker by sales, is cutting 8,500 jobs in an effort to decrease its annual operating costs by as much as $3.0 billion by 2015.

Part of the cuts will touch R&D, while the other half will be jobs eliminated from its commercial arm, including its marketing and sales force. This announcement follows the company’s 2011 and 2012 job cuts, which totaled 7,500 positions.

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Global Brand Report: Apple Takes Top Spot Away From Coca-Cola

Global Brand Report: Apple Takes Top Spot Away From Coca-Cola

BUSINESS

  • Apple ranks first, pushing last year's leader Coca-Cola into third place
  • Top ten mostly technology companies
  • Fastest-rising brands: Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Prada

Apple Inc. is 2013’s most valuable brand in the world, pushing Coca-Cola out of the top spot according to the annual Best Global Brands report by consulting company Interbrand; Apple ranked eighth in 2011 and second in 2012.

This marks the first time in the report’s 13-year history that Coca-Cola was not the top brand.  The soft drink manufacturer is now in third place.

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Japan Nuclear Update: Tepco Applies To Restart Two Reactors

Japan Nuclear Update: Tepco Applies To Restart Two Reactors

BUSINESS

  • Regulators to review application to reopen Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, world's largest nuclear plant
  • Renewing nuclear program expected to save $1 billion monthly
  • Japanese officials worried over safety, environmental problems

Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Co has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulation Authority for permission to restart two nuclear reactors in northwestern Japan. Regulators will take six months or more to review the application, and decide whether to reopen the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, the world's largest nuclear plant.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is located on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and the site has seven reactors that were built between 16 and 28 years ago. Tepco is seeking permission to restart reactors six and seven.

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PayPal To Acquire Payment Platform Braintree For $800 Million

PayPal To Acquire Payment Platform Braintree For $800 Million

BUSINESS

  • PayPal buys Braintree to expand into mobile payment services
  • Braintree will continue to run as an independent unit
  • Braintree mobile payment app Venmo a major draw for PayPal

PayPal, owned by EBay, will purchase international payment platform Braintree for $800 million to expand into mobile payment services, which use mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to make purchases.

The acquisition will also let PayPal access data and benefit from the Chicago-based Braintree’s very profitable transaction charges (i.e., nearly 3% commission) in a growing network of major companies such as Airbnb, LivingSocial and OpenTable Inc. (OPEN). To date, Braintree merchant purchases amount to roughly $12 billion a year, including $4 billion generated by mobile devices.

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Smartphone Maker BlackBerry Cuts 4,500 Jobs

Smartphone Maker BlackBerry Cuts 4,500 Jobs

BUSINESS

  • BlackBerry to cut 4,500 job because of disappointing quarterly sales
  • BlackBerry 10 phones contributed to $960-million inventory writedown
  • BlackBerry to target corporate and professional market as niche

Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry will eliminate 4,500 staff positions, or almost 40% of its workforce, following disappointing quarterly sales of $1.6 billion, which amounts to only half of predicted analyst expectations set at $3.03 billion.

A recent report says that in the second quarter the struggling Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone company could lose up to $960 million in an inventory writedown. BlackBerry anticipates an operating loss of nearly $1000 for the same period.

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Semiconductor Equipment Maker Applied Materials Buys Japanese Rival For $7 Billion

Semiconductor Equipment Maker Applied Materials Buys Japanese Rival For $7 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron merger to benefit both companies financially
  • Merged company to provide new devices and cost-effective products to customers
  • New company expected to achieve $250 million in savings

Applied Materials Inc, the largest chip-making equipment supplier, is buying rival Tokyo Electron Ltd for more than $7 billion, combining the two companies to increase profit.

The merged company will provide new devices and cost-effective products to customers. Both companies manufacture machines that prepare silicon wafers for imprinting but few of their other products overlap.

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Automotive Sales In Europe See Record Drop

Automotive Sales In Europe See Record Drop

BUSINESS

  • European car registrations down 5%, reaching a record low
  • France, Italy and Germany see biggest drop in car sales
  • High unemployment rates hit automobile industry, affecting Volkswagen, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat

European car sales have dropped 5%, resulting in the lowest number of deliveries on record since 1990.

Apparently, Volkswagen AG, Fiat SpA and PSA Peugeot Citroen really felt the pinch, and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) was quoted as saying that the countries noticing the biggest slump were France, Italy and Germany. However, while the ACEA acknowledged the drop across these major markets, reports indicate that Britain was the only significant market to see an upswing, reporting nearly 11% in growth as compared to the same month last year.

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Lufthansa Orders 59 Aircraft From Boeing, Airbus

Lufthansa Orders 59 Aircraft From Boeing, Airbus

BUSINESS

  • Lufthansa orders new aircraft to replace aging fleet
  • Order marks largest deal in Lufthansa history
  • Airline originally said it would pick one manufacturer

 

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s largest airline by revenue, ordered 59 jets from Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS worth $19 billion in list prices with the goal of replacing its aging fleet.

The order is the largest in company history.

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Telecommunications Update: Europe To Halt Mobile Phone Roaming Fees

Telecommunications Update: Europe To Halt Mobile Phone Roaming Fees

BUSINESS

  • European Commission plans to cut mobile phone roaming charges across Europe as part of telecom reform strategy
  • Charges for incoming calls cut as of July 2014, other charges by 2016
  • Reform to ensure more access for customers, boost struggling telecom industry in Europe

The European Commission is looking to get rid of mobile phone roaming charges across Europe as part of its overarching telecom market reform strategy.

The Commission termed this strategy “the most ambitious plan in 26 years of telecom market reform.” These measures are pending approval by members of the European Union as well as by the governments of the member states.

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Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 Takes Maiden Flight

Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 Takes Maiden Flight

BUSINESS

  • No serious problems detected with Dreamliner 787-9
  • Latest Dreamliner to be more profitable for Boeing
  • First delivery expected in 2014

Boeing Co. test pilots successfully completed a test flight of the Dreamliner 787-9 and no significant problems were detected. The successful flight gives Boeing hope it has solved many of the problems that plagued the 787-8 and the 747 jumbo jet, putting them behind schedule.

Earlier this year, the 787-8 fleet was grounded for three months because of overheating batteries and electrical panel fires.

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