Business & Finance
Disney Will Be Pulling Out Content From Netflix
August 10, 2017
Disney will be pulling out all of its movies from Netflix to start its own streaming service. The new Disney branded direct-to-consumer streaming service will launch in 2019, putting the firm in direct competition with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and others.
The company will also launch its own ESPN video streaming service in early 2018.
The platform, which will feature about 10,000 sporting events each year, will have content from the MLB, NHL, MLS, collegiate sports and tennis' Grand Slam events. The current plan is for Disney and ESPN streaming services to be available for purchase directly from Disney and ESPN, in app stores, and from authorized pay-TV partners.
Netflix played down the effect of Disney's announcement, and said it would continue to do business with Disney globally, including its relationship with Disney's Marvel TV.
'U.S. Netflix members will have access to Disney films on the service through the end of 2019, including all new films that are shown theatrically through the end of 2018,' the company said in a statement.
Disney will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases, beginning with the 2019 calendar year theatrical slate. The move will affect all its titles, and meana although Netflix should get the next two Star Wars movies, it won't get the new trilogy's final installment.
George Clooney Sold
Tequila Company For Up To $1 Billion
June 22, 2017
The tequila company co-founded by George Clooney, Casamigos, is in a deal that values the company at up to $1 billion with the Spirits company, Diageo. Clooney founded the company in 2013 with longtime friend Rande Gerber.
Diageo will make an up-front payment of $700 million for Casamigos, with another $300 million to follow if it hits sales targets. Casamigos "has delivered impressive growth," Diageo says in a news release, "reaching 120,000 cases in 2016, primarily in the U.S." The company says the tequila brand is expected to top 170,000 cases by the end of this year.
Casamigos' founders (Clooney, Gerber and Michael Meldman) will continue to promote and lead the tequila brand they created, Diageo says. In 2013, the company's first bottles went on store shelves; today, 750 ml bottles of Casamigos retail for around $50.
If the deal closes by the end of 2017 as expected, the tequila will join a spirits house that includes Don Julio tequila, as well as venerable brands such as Guinness beer and Johnnie Walker scotch, Tanqueray gin and Ketel One vodka.
Walmart: Employees Deliver Packages On Their Way Home From Work
June 05, 2017
Walmart’s newest tactic in its fight against online giant Amazon: enlisting its employees to deliver online orders on their way home from work. The company began testing the package-delivery program a month ago in three stores — two in New Jersey, one in northwest Arkansas — but did not offer details on when, or where, it would expand across the United States.
Employees will be paid extra for the voluntary program, and offered overtime pay as necessary to make the deliveries, Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said Thursday, June 1.
Walmart Are In Shipping Wars
Earlier this year, engineers at Walmart Stores who track rivals' prices online got a rude surprise: the technology they were using to check Amazon.com several million times a day suddenly stopped working. Losing access to Amazon.com's data was no small matter.
Like most big retailers, Walmart (WMT, -0.03%) relies on computer programs that scan prices on competitors' websites so it can adjust its listings accordingly. A difference of even 50 cents can mean losing a sale.
But a new tactic by Amazon (AMZN, -0.87%) to block these programs—known commonly as robots or bots—thwarted the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer. Its technology unit, @WalmartLabs, was unable to work around the blockade for weeks, forcing it to retrieve Amazon's data through a secondary source, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.
Now the largest online retailer in the world, Amazon is best known by consumers for its fast delivery, huge product catalog, and ambitious moves into areas like original TV programming.
The latest war of one-upmanship between Amazon and everyone else is over free shipping fees — with the e-commerce giant recently lowering to $25 the minimum purchase required for non-Prime customers to get free shipping. It’s the second time in less than three months that Amazon — led by CEO Jeff Bezos — has reduced its free shipping minimum, according to BestBlackFriday.com, a shopping blog that first reported the new policy.
In February, Amazon lowered its free shipping minimum to $35, down from $49 — likely in response to Walmart, which had lowered its minimum to $35 for free two-day delivery. Amazon's website now reads that online orders of $25 or more, featuring eligible items, will qualify for free shipping.
One advantage Walmart may have are offers value not only through pricing but from discounts for in-store pickup and other benefits. Walmart's Pickup Discount program introduced last month let shoppers get an extra discount if they pick up an online order in store, a way for the retailer to leverage its thousands of stores, but a tactic hard for Amazon to mimic.
E.U. Fines Facebook $122 Million
May 18, 2017
On Thursday, May 18, the European Union’s powerful antitrust chief fined the social network 110 million euros, or about $122 million, for giving misleading statements during the company’s $19 billion acquisition of the internet messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.
The fine — one of the largest regulatory penalties against Facebook — comes days after Dutch and French privacy watchdogs ruled that the company had broken strict data protection rules. The European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, said that Facebook had told the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, that the social network would not combine the company’s data with that of WhatsApp, which has more than one billion users.
“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of E.U. merger rules,” Ms. Vestager said in a statement. In response, Facebook said that it had acted in good faith in its deliberations with Europe’s antitrust officials, and that it would not appeal the financial penalty.
How To Get Out Of Debt In 2017
If you want to do this right, you want to make sure that you know where you stand before you start. You need to have a complete picture. Here’s what you need to do:
Make A List
Make a list of all your debts: name of creditor, interest rate, balance, minimum monthly payment.
Establish A Starter Emergency Fund Of $1,000
You might be wondering, ‘Why is having an emergency fund important’?
Well, if you don’t have any money in the bank and an emergency does happen, how are you going to pay for it? For most people, credit cards become the funding source for those emergencies. If you are trying to get out of debt then you need to put a buffer between you and debt; that is exactly what an emergency fund does.
Create A Realistic Budget
Creating a budget will expose whether you have money left over, which is called a surplus, or if you are in the negative, which is called a deficit.
Organize Your Debts
Map out a plan to pay off your debt. There are two approaches that are worth considering. The first is where you list your debts smallest to largest regardless of the interest rate.
The other method is called laddering, starting with the highest interest rate card first and end with the debt with the lowest interest rate. Regardless of which process you choose, the key is to stick with it
Apple's Cash Reserves Now Exceed A Quarter Of A Trillion Dollars
May 01, 2017
The last number Apple reported was $246.09B as of December, so it was already close to the quarter trillion mark then. The rate of growth then was quite staggering. The stock hit a record high of $145.46/share in April 2017 and is currently trading near $143/share. The stock is prone to big moves after reporting earnings and can easily gap up if the numbers are strong.
The paper suggests that the number is likely to ramp up pressure on the company to spend some of it, either through acquisitions or returning more money to shareholders. Apple may, however, be holding fire to see whether the Trump administration makes good on campaign promises to allow overseas capital to be repatriated to the U.S. at a lower rate of tax. More than 90% of Apple’s cash is held outside the USA.
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