Tag Archives: European Commission

The European Union rose “only” 0,4 percent in Q1 of 2018

Last week I talked about America`s fantastic growth of 4,1 percent on quarter in Q2 of 2018, and this is only the beginning. It is no doubt; President Trump must be doing something right. But, what about the European Union?

GDP in the European Union rose «only» 0,4 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2018. Not much to write home about. But the growth have never been above 1 percent since the financial crisis in 2008.

The European Union reached an all time high of 1,30 percent in 1999 and that is right before the tech bubble burst. Since then it has been a dead fish, reaching an all time low of -2,60 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

At the same time we can see that the unemployment rate reached a record low of 6,80 percent in February of 2008, and that`s right before the financial crisis. It reached an all time high of 11 percent in February 2013, but in May this year it fall down to 7 percent again.

This isn`t good enough if we are living in a capitalistic world.

The European Union in Brussels are nothing more than unelected bureaucrats. Draghi and the ECB have, just like Japan and the U.S «printed» a lot of money, and will continue to do so. If they can`t turn around the ship, they need to consider a strong cheerleader.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a meeting with President Trump last week. They were talking about trade, free trade and tariffs. Mr Trump`s goal is to make better deals so both the U.S and the EU can take more profit and prosper.

I think that the EU should be glad for that and they need to hurry up. The U.S is the world`s third biggest exporter, yet exports account «only» for 13 percent on GDP. Exports in the U.S reached an all time high of 215328 USD million in May this year, which is pretty impressive.

The EU has 28 member states and the biggest among them all is Germany (21 percent of total GDP), the United Kingdom (15 percent), and France (15 percent).

Exports of goods and services account for 46 percent of GDP while imports account for 42 percent, adding 4 percent of total GDP. But this is about to change. If the UK contribute with 15 percent of the total GDP in the EU, then what will happen to their growth after Brexit?

That being said; nor is the UK a success story. The British economy grew by 0,1 percent in the first three months of 2018 and well below 0,4 percent in the previous period. It is the lowest growth rate since a 0,1 percent contraction in Q4 2012.

The largest contribution to growth in the UK was from household spending at 0,2 percentage points. From the production side, the service industries made the largest contribution to GDP growth, followed by production.

Agriculture, the smallest component within the output approach of GDP made no contribution to growth to one decimal place, while construction deducted from GDP growth. The service industries increased by 0,3 percent.

Positive growth was recorded within all sub-sectors of the services industries; distribution, hotels and restaurants (0,1 percent vs -0,1 percent).

President Trump have repeatedly said that the EU have treated the US very bad. I have written many articles about that long before Mr Trump`s inauguration. The European Commission has fined Google €4,34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules this month.

In May 2009, Intel was imposed with a 1,06 billion euro fined for abusing its market dominance on central processing units. Microsoft has been in trouble with the Commission on several occasions. In 2004, the Commission ruled that Microsoft had abused its market dominance.

In 208, the Commission fined Microsoft nearly 900 million euros for charging «unreasonable» royalty fees. In 2013, another fine of 561 million euros was imposed on Microsoft. This time for failing to comply with the Commission`s ruling that it had to allow users to more easily choose a prefered web browser.

The European Commission fined Facebook for 110 million euros in May this year in relation to its takeover of WhatsApp. Facebook acquired the messaging service in 2014 for $19 billion, but provided the Commission with misleading information about the acquisition.

In August 2016, the Commission ruled that tech giant Apple had received illegal tax benefits from Ireland worth up to 13 billion euros. Ireland was ordered to recover the unpaid tax from Apple, plus interest.

As early as 1966, British Politician Tony Benn said that «Communism run by commissars from Moscow did not work, and nor will capitalism run by commissioners in Brussels. Both deny people their right to develop in their own way.»

Now, under President Donald Trump, big companies like Apple are moving home to the United States with billions of dollars. Apple alone, are bringing in $230 billion. They will build new plants and a magnificent campus.

They will spend their money wisely and the money will be in the U.S. All this is possible because of Trump`s tax cuts and reforms. This is how you make growth.

 

 

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Investors are worried because Gary Cohn, who is a Wall Street veteran, was opposed to the tariffs

President Donald Trump usually do the things he promise to do. He had long talked about tariffs, and earlier this week he said; “I have no choice.” His economic advisor Gary Cohn didn`t like that and announced retirement.

Mr Trump shocked the market last week with his decision to impose 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminium. Investors are worried because Gary Cohn, who is a Wall Street veteran, was opposed to the tariffs.

 

 

Gary Cohn is a former Goldman Sachs president and free trade advocate. He is the man who helped Mr Trump and his team at the White House to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms, but he clashed with Trump`s protectionist advisors on the issue of tariffs.

White House officially said that President Donald Trump will announce more details on the tariff proposal on Thursday this week.

In addition, there could be conversation this week around more trade actions.

European Union said they will target $3,5 billion of goods like motorcycles, T-shirts, whisky and jeans imported from the United States. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the trade bloc would “not sit idly” if Trump goes ahead with his tariffs.

President Trump warned the US would apply a tax on European cars if the bloc wants to increase tariffs on American companies. A statement the European automakers didn`t like at all.

The Volksvagen emissions scandal (Emissionsgate/dieselgate) began in September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automakers Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges in a brazen scheme to get around US pollution rules on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles by using software to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests.

Assistant US attorney John Neal said it was a “calculated offence,” not a «monetary lapse of judgement».

In my recent articles, I have talked about Europe`s treatment of American companies. A bad treatment that has been going on for decades.

In 2001, the European Commission accused Microsoft of having illegally extended its dominans in operating systems for PC`s into adjacent markets, for tying Windows to programs that play music and videos.

The European Commission said Microsoft was too dominant in the market in 2001. They said the same about Google in 2016, claiming that Google was too dominant in the internet search market. Last year, they attacked the biggest company in the world: Apple.

Nucors CEO told CNBC last week that the presidents proposal was about treating Europe “exactly as they treat us.” So, who is the real elephant in the room?

President Trump has many times said that Europe are treating USA bad, and this has been going on for a long time now. It is clear to see that there has been a silent war going on, but Mr Trump is the one to do something with that.

The war between Europe and USA is not a secret anymore. This trade war is a zero sum game, and there is no winner. This is how the market was before the start of World War II. Now, the history seems to repeat itself. This can be very ugly.

In 2015, Russia marked 70 years since the victory over the Nazis with a spectacular parade in Moscow. Many Western leaders missed the event. USA is the one who stopped World War II.
<p align="LEFT"><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-family:Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif;"><span style="font-size:small;">Everybody in Greece are talking about Nazi-Europe. They know the history from WWII. Nazi Germany invaded Greece to assist its ally, Fascist Italy, which had been at war with Greece (Greco-Italien War) for about a year. </span></span></span></p>
<p align="LEFT"><span style="color:#333333;"><span style="font-family:Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif;"><span style="font-size:small;">The occupation ruined Greek economy. The Nazi occupation led to rampant inflation, and 200,000,000-drachma banknote were issued in 1944. They can
t do the same today, because they do not have its own currency. They have Euro.

What the Nazi`s did to Greece is a long list of crimes against humanity, and the truth cannot be hidden.

The Nazi`s burned down every house and dynamited the church in retaliation, but the Greeks were the first Europeans who won a victory against fascism.

The biggest party in Italy, The Five Star Movement, is Euroskeptic. So, are the Brexit voters. EU need to change its strategy very fast, because EU is very important but not the ugly part of it.

European Commisssion doubts justification for Trump tariffs. It is done under section 232, which refers to National security. European Commission cannot see how the allies is a threath to International Security in the United States.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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iPhone is now 10 years old and on January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs unveiled a product that changed the world

iPhone is now 10 years old. On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs unveiled a product that changed the world. A few months later, on June 29, 2007 iPhone made its way into stores. Apple have changed dramatically since then.

Since the first generation iPhone first began selling on June 29, 2007, Apples market Cap has grown from $104,3 Billion to $760 Billion. Growing from the 26<sup>th</sup> largest company on the S&amp;P 500 to the 1<sup>st</sup>. Shares of Apple have soared 744% since the iPhones debut.

 

 

Apple has sold just over 1,2 Billion iPhones in the last 10 years.

Earlier this week the European Commission fined Google a $2,7 Billion, claiming it denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. They also claimed that Google denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefit of innovation.

What Europe should do is stop complaining and start to innovate. If there was a better search engine out there they will have competed with Google. The same can be said about the smart phone market too.

I acquired my first mobile phone in 1992 and it was a Ericsson which is a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

The company had a 35% market share in the 2G/3G/4G mobile network infrastructure market in 2012. They were ruling the smart phone market in the early 90`s, but something happened.

Nokia from Finland came into the market and ruled the world with their new smart phones from 1998 to 2012. That`s 14 years on top. Not bad for a company founded by Knut Fredrik Idestam in 1865.

Keep in mind that both are European companies, but something happened.

Steve Jobs changed the world 10 years ago, on June 29, 2007. He launched Apple`s iPhone which is celebrating a 10 year anniversary. In 2007, iPhone 2G were launched with a 16GB storage and 8-hour battery.

Ten years later, iPhone 7 Plus were launched with a 256GB storage and 21-hours battery. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer said on April 29, 2007, that “There`s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No Chance.”

For how long will Apple continue to stay on top?

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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Google is a success story and the European Commission fined them a record $2,7 billion today

Google is a success story and the company is up over 40% since June last year. The company is well-known for its search engine which is the best in the world. Some people in this world doesn`t like this success and one of them is the European Commission.

The European Commission have received many complaints from competitors who claimed that Google abused its search market dominance to give its own business an advantage over other retailers. This is a clear picture of the relationship between Europe and the U.S right now.

 

 

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation,” European Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The European Commission has been working on this case for over seven years, and the action came after complaints from rivals such as Yelp, TripAdviser, UK price comparison site Foundem, News Corp and lobbying group FairSearch.

This is not the first time the European Commission has attacked a U.S company. Last year they attacked Apple, and at that time, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies.

This is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission`s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years. In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1% on its European profits in 2003 down to 0,005% in 2014.”

Apple has their own tax structure in Europe, which is Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe. Both are two Irish incorporated companies that are fully owned by the Apple group.

In 2001, the European Commission sent a sternly worded missive to Microsoft. EU accused the software maker of having illegally extended its dominance in operation systems for personal computers (PC`s) into adjacent markets, for tying Windows to programs that play music and videos.

The European Commission said Microsoft was too dominant in the market in 2001. Last year they claimed Google was too dominant in the internet search market. Google were also ruling the smart phone market with their Android system, which will be their next problem.

EU regulators in Brussels fined Google a record $2,7 billion today, ruling that the search-engine giant violated antitrust rules for its online shopping practices, and this is the largest doled out by Brussels.

Google disagreed with the EU action.

«We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today (Tuesday).We will review the (European) Commissions decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,» Kent Walker, Googles Senior vice-president and General Counsel, said in a statement today.

It doesnt stop here. Next time, Brussels will attack Googles Android mobile operating system, which is a case that could potentially be the most damaging for Google.

Theodore Roosevelt led a populist party in 1912, and Ralph Nader campaigned against the power of large corporations such as auto companies. Now, 105 years later, EU is doing the same.

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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YouTube is dominant in the music streaming market and a new case for the European Commission

Consumer behaviour is very important for the music industry and a new research by IFPI contains key findings on changing consumer behaviour and provides valuable insights on the «value gap», which is the music industry`s most pressing priority.

«The value gap» is the massive mismatch between the growing consumption of music worldwide and the disproportionately small revenues that are returned to rights holders. It is caused by a market distortion allowing some major digital services to circumvent the normal rules of music licensing.

This denies musicians, artists, composers and investors fair compensation for their work; lowers investment in and diversity of new music; and skews competition among digital services. IFPI sees today`s proposal as a good first step in the process.

musicstreaming

 

 

Notably, the proposal confirms that user uploaded content services that promote and monetize music should be covered by the same copyright rules as other on-demand services.

Commenting on the proposal, IFPI Chief Executive, Frances Moore said:

«The music industry has transformed itself in recent years, licensing hundreds of services, widening choices for consumers and investing in new, creative ways to bring artists to a global audience.

But to achieve sustainable growth, the music sector needs a level playing field.

This means creating an environment where copyright rules are correctly applied so that creators and producers can be confident to invest and license. It also means allowing digital services to compete on fair terms and enabling consumers to enjoy access to diverse sources of licensed music.

«Today`s proposal is a good first step towards creating a better and fairer licensing environment in Europe. Importantly, it confirms that user uploaded content services such as YouTube, which are the largest source of on-demand music, should not be able to operate outside normal licensing rules.

However, there is a lot more to do to make this a workable proposal. We look forward to working on this in the coming months with the Parliament and Member States.»

The music consumer behaviour is changing, and this is the key report highlights:

  • Paid audio streaming is growing: 71% of internet users aged 16-64 access licensed music. Paid audio streaming services are growing in popularity, especially among under 25`s. One-third of 16-24 year old now pay for an audio streaming service.
  • YouTube is the most used music service: 82% of all YouTube visitors use it for music. More people use YouTube to consume music they already know than to discover new content.
  • Copyright infringement remains a significant problem: more than one-third (35%) of internet users access unlicensed music content. infringement is changing, with half (49%) of 16-24 year olds using stream ripping services to download music.
  • Young people are highly engaged with music: with 82% of 13-15 year-old listening to licensed music and the majority willing to pay for music.
  • Smartphones are moving towards replacing computers as the most used device for music consumption; especially in developing countries. Users of paid audio streaming services are particularly likely to listen to music on a smart phone.

Commenting on the report, Frances Moore, CEO, IFPI said:

«There are many positives for the music industry in this research: streaming services have revolutionised the experience of the music consumer, with growing numbers paying for audio streaming services;

listeners are responding to the benefits offered by on-the-go, on-demand access to music by moving more and more to the world of mobile, especially in emerging markets; and young fans are showing passion and engagement with music.

«Record companies, and the investment they make in music, are at the heart of this change. That investment is all the more important in the digital world, driving the creation of new music and helping artists connect with their fans.

«There are also key insights informing the policy debate on musics «value gap», the biggest problem for todays music sector. The research highlights the dominant position amongst music services of YouTube, as well as the fact that the site is used by consumers primarily to access music they know, on-demand.

Yet YouTube can get away without remunerating fairly artists and producers by hiding behind ‘safe harbour’ laws that were never designed for services that actively engage with and make available music enjoyed by the vast majority of its users.»

YouTube use a loophole in international copyright laws. The pay much lower licensing fees the music industry than services such as Spotify and Apple Music. YouTube considers itself a hosting platform rather than a content distributing platform.

This is a practice that has repeatedly been dismissed as unfair by record companies and competitors. YouTube say it is mostly a promotional platform for artists and record companies.

Spotify is twice as big as Apple Music. Spotify has 40 million paid subscribers, while Apple music has «only» 4 million. Spotify has 100 million of total listeners while Apple Music has 78 million.

To put that in perspective; YouTube doesn`t have any paid subscribers, but they are more than 8 times bigger than Spotify with its listeners.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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