Business

Common Signs With UTA

The Academy Award-winning artist, actor, activist and producer will be represented by UTA in all areas. United Talent Agency has signed Common in all areas worldwide, the company is reporting. Common had previously been represented by CAA.  The hip-hop artist, activist, actor and producer is staring in a number of films in 2018 including Warner Bros’ Smallfoot, the highly-anticipated Fox film The Hate U Give and has appeared in several episodes of Showtime’s hit drama The Chi, produced by his company Freedom Road Productions with his longtime manager Derek Dudley. One of the most well-known stars of conscious hip-hop genre to emerge from the late 90s scene, Common has earned an Academy Award, a Grammy, a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award for his single “Glory,” fea...

Amazon wins from a Supreme Court ruling

FOR years, online retailers in America have enjoyed an unfair advantage over their bricks-and-mortar competitors. Unless they were physically located in the same state as a shopper, they were not obliged to collect state and local sales taxes. Shoppers were still legally required to pay taxes on their online purchases, but not everyone did in practice. Many instead to chose to treat the internet as a place to find discounts. Given that state and local taxes can add up to as much as 12% of a product’s prices, the potential savings were substantial. This practice is now coming to an end. On June 21st America’s Supreme Court ruled that online retailers would finally have to start collecting sales tax themselves. The company that has benefited most from this loophole is probably Amazon, Americ...

Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

Starbucks, citing the environment threat to oceans, will ban plastic straws from all of its stores globally in less than two years. The company becomes the largest food and beverage company operating globally to do so. Starbucks said Monday that it is making available a strawless lid at 8,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada for certain drinks. Starbucks Coffee Co. estimates the switch will eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws a year. The company’s announcement comes a week after it’s hometown, Seattle, banned single-use plastic straws and utensils at businesses that sell food or drinks in the city. Starbucks said cold beverages in which a straw is typically included make up 50 percent of the drinks its sells, up from just 37 percent five years ago.

Chinese exporters scramble to cope with US tariffs

Chinese exporters were scrambling Monday to cope with a plunge in U.S. sales while China‘s state press shrugged off the impact of Washington’s tariff hikes in a spiraling technology dispute. The overall blow from Friday’s tariff hikes to the world’s second-largest economy should be limited, according to private sector analysts. But President Donald Trump‘s measures targeting Chinese medical, construction and factory equipment hit exporters that say price-conscious American customers have stopped buying. The general manager of medical device exporter that depends on the United States for 15 to 20 percent of sales said he plans to fly there this week to negotiate with customers who stopped ordering its syringes and other equipment. Wuxi Yushou Medical Devices Co...

Interscope Execs Lead Panel for Women on How to Make It in the Music Business

Find out what you’re best at, consider what you enjoy most and specialize your skill set to stand out from the pack.  Those were some of the takeaways from a recent panel discussion called “Leading the Next Generation” in Los Angeles led by some of Interscope’s top-ranking women. Hosted at The Grammy Museum by the Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Music, the hourlong conversation covered what it takes to break into the music business and rise to the top.  “The goal is to truly love what you do,” Erika Savage, Interscope SVP of strategic development told Billboard. “It’s a crazy, tough, 24-hour-a-day business, which makes stress management key.” But, Savage said, “any tough day is more than outweighed by the reward of working with ar...

US adds a solid 213,000 jobs; unemployment up to 4 pct.

U.S. employers kept up a brisk hiring pace in June by adding 213,000 jobs in a sign of confidence despite the start of a potentially punishing trade war with China. At the same time, the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent from 3.8 percent, the government said Friday, as more people began looking for a job and not all of them found one. On the same day that the Trump administration began imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing hit back with tariffs on the same amount of U.S. goods, the job gain showed that the 9-year old U.S. economic expansion — the second-longest on record — remains on firm footing. Still, average hourly pay rose just 2.7 percent in June from 12 months earlier, meaning that after adjusting for inflation, wages remain nearly flat. The low jobless ra...

US trade deficit drops to $43.1 billion in May

The U.S. trade deficit dropped in May to the lowest level in 19 months as U.S. exports rose to a record level. But the trade gap between the United States and China increased sharply, underscoring the economic tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. The Commerce Department said Friday that the May trade deficit — the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets — fell 6.6 percent to $43.1 billion. It was the smallest imbalance since October 2016. Exports climbed 1.9 percent to a record $215.3 billion. Imports were up a smaller 0.4 percent to $258.4 billion. The United States imposed penalty tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods Friday. China retaliated in kind, starting what Beijing called the “biggest trade war in economic history....

Amazon takes a big step into online pharma

FOR roughly a year speculation has been feverish: would Amazon, an online retail giant, muscle into America’s prescription-drugs market? On June 28th that uncertainty ended when it bought a small online pharmacy, PillPack, based in Manchester, New Hampshire, for about $1bn. When the deal is completed later this year, Amazon will be able to sell prescription drugs to customers in the 50 states where PillPack has licenses. The news of Amazon’s entry had a predictable effect on incumbent firms. Shares of three large bricks-and-mortar pharmacy chains, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid and CVS Health, lost $11bn in value. Drug distributors such as Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen were also hit. Amazon gained $19.8bn. Michael Rea, boss of Rx Savings Solutions, a health-technology firm, say...

Canada’s cannabis firms plot world domination

IT IS rare to see the words “Canada” and “world domination” in the same sentence. The country’s cannabis producers want to change that. With an eye on October 17th, the date on which recreational marijuana will become legal, medical-cannabis firms have been expanding at home and talking up their global ambitions in a most un-Canadian way. Lots of joint ventures—in the legal sense—are being signed abroad. The hope is that having a base in the first large country to make pot legal for adults (Uruguay legalised cannabis in 2017) will give them an unbeatable lead. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor’s Picks. To date firms have financed their expansion plans largely by selling shares, supplemented by funding from smaller investment banks and c...

New auto tariffs would batter German carmakers

THE menace to Americans from immigration of the wrong sort is immense, according to President Donald Trump. The list of items he wants to deter from crossing the border includes objects as well as people, and one in particular holds his attention. In trade terms, he told Fox News on July 1st, “the cars are the big one.” With good reason, he views auto tariffs as a far deadlier weapon than the duties already imposed on steel and aluminium when it comes to extracting trade concessions from other countries. That is dire news for all carmakers, which are among the world’s most globalised firms. But Germany’s are the most dependent on exports. Most well-off Americans long ago traded in Lincolns and Cadillacs for the refinement of Teutonic marques. A tweet from Mr Trump on June 22nd reaffirming ...

Shortages of carbon dioxide in Europe may get worse

IN THEORY, the world has too much carbon dioxide. In 2015 the Paris climate agreement set limits on emissions of the gas to prevent global temperatures rising by more than two degrees Celsius above those of pre-industrial times. But in practice, makers of food and drink in Europe have found that they cannot find enough of the gas. And this unlikely shortage is likely to get worse in future. Food-grade CO2 is a vital ingredient: it puts the fizz in carbonated drinks and beer, knocks out animals before slaughter and, as one of the gases inside packaging, delays meat and salad from going off. A shortage of the stuff has therefore created havoc in foodmakers’ supply chains. Heineken, a Dutch brewer, and Coca-Cola, an American drinks giant, have been forced to close some of their European plant...

Glencore faces a DoJ probe stretching from Africa to the Americas

IT EMERGED on July 2nd that Hollywood may make “The King of Oil”, a film about Marc Rich, an American-Swiss commodities trader who became a fabulously rich fugitive from American justice. On July 3rd Glencore, the firm founded by Mr Rich, said America’s Department of Justice (DoJ) had requested documents regarding its compliance with corruption and money-laundering laws. Depending on the outcome, the film may have a good sequel. It has been a year of pain for Glencore, a mining and trading giant. News that the DoJ wanted over ten years of documents related to activities in three countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and Venezuela, knocked its market value by 8.5%, or $4.3bn (on July 5th it announced a $1bn share buyback). Its shares had already lagged its peers this ye...