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REWIND: International Business News #7

Posted on November 8th, 2010 | Author: admin

  • Blackberry received some positive market growth following the demonstration of their new product, The Playbook, in Los Angeles last week. Research in Motion (RIM), a Canadian company, witnessed a growth of 6.2 percent in share price, shortly after the launch. The Playbook has received criticism from Apple for its size, measuring well over two inches smaller than the iPad. Countering this argument, RIM relied on the products attributes, including its alliance with Adobe Flash Player, which will provide enhanced video content for the new product, and remains unique to the Playbook. Significantly, RIM is channeling its efforts to provide an improved mobile device that can offer a professional experience. Notwithstanding this positive stock increase, RIM’ overall share price has fallen almost twenty three percent this year to date.
  •  After ten years of service the popular entertainment file sharing company, Limewire is forced to cease business. The U.S. Federal District Court in Manhattan, ruled against the company following a lawsuit filed by the music industry. Shortly thereafter, the news was published on its official website and user downloading and file sharing was brought to a halt. Prior to this trial, Judge Kimba M. Wood ruled with thirteen music companies that claimed that Limewire had infringed upon their copyrights and engaged in unfair competition. Limewire, which was founded by Mark Gorton in 2000, is to find out the extent of damages as a result of the illegal downloading, file distribution and sharing service in the New Year. Limewire is determined to continue providing music to its users collaborating with copyright holders and bridging the gap between technology innovations and infringement.
  •  This weekend the British government announced that Scotch Whisky, is to receive greater brand protection in China, to address the vast amount of imitations on the internationally known product. This announcement purports to make production of Scotch Whisky exclusive to Scotland. Furthermore, this move will seek to increase sales, and put an end to the three-year battle between the Scotch Whisky Association and China. Presently, with over two hundred counterfeit versions, the need to protect the brand has become more imperative than ever. The agreement will be signed in Beijing this coming week.
  •  In pharmaceutical news, British based company GlaxoSmithKline PLC is to pay up to $750 million, pursuant to an investigation which established that GSK had knowingly produced impure, mislabeled, and incorrect drug dosages’ which were sold to consumers after production in its factory in Cidra, Puerto Rico. The violations of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) came to light following an inspection by the companies Quality Assurance manager.  Among the violations, include a contaminated air and water system, which led to cross contamination. However, the unrelated closure of the plant in 2009 was based on a decline in the local market for pharmaceutical products.
  •  Covered bonds scheme, widespread in Europe, may provide a method for financing mortgages in the United States. Essentially, covered bonds are debt securities, which are backed by cash flows, typically mortgages. Notably, the key difference between these covered bonds and a securitized mortgage bond are the assets, which remain on the issuer’s consolidated balance sheet. The object of these covered bonds is to reduce the likelihood the issuer will underwrite risky loans. While there is no established current practice for covered bonds in the United States, the covered bonds business is estimated at $3 trillion in Europe. This past July, the House Financial Service Committee passed the bill, which narrowly missed inclusion in the Dodd-Frank Reform Act.
  • Quiznos is projected to open 15 franchise stores in Kuwait. The store disclosed that it is working in collaboration with Foodco, Inc., taking advantage of Foodco’s familiarity with the target market, from consumer trends to cultural preferences.  The U.S. based company plans to adapt the sandwich shop to appeal to local tastes and needs. Furthermore, the chain intends to further extend this international expansion to Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America and Southeast Asia over the next few years.
  • In pursuit of geographic expansion, ad agencies see a niche in African markets for advertising growth and as a prime market to begin global expansion after India, China and Latin America. Telecom companies, financial service firms and the makers of consumer products are among those influencing this surge of advertising growth in Africa. However, with Africa’s (although slightly improved) corruption, poverty, and language barriers in the mix, this expansion does not come without risk
  • Unconventional terrorist threats stimulate a shift in Britain’s defense budget.  England is to adjust its security budget in response to the latest spell of terrorist internet threats to the country.  An estimated $1 trillion is spent worldwide on cyber crime a year. England’s preparation for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, to be staged in London, is certainly a driving force in the government’s proactive approach to this new type of threat and budgetary change.
  • Finally, a look back in time to see the story behind; Sony, IBM, Gucci, DuPont, and others.

Compiled and summarized by Muireann O’Keeffe.