tv Business Briefing BBC News September 17, 2019 5:30am-5:46am BST
this is the business briefing. i'm sally bundock. see you in court — apple takes on the eu in a fight over a record $14bn tax bill. and doing a deal — president trump announces that the us and japan have reached an agreement over trade. and on the markets... they are mixed in asia. as you can see, japan has opened for the first time this week. the price of oil has come off a bit since its incredible spike around this time yesterday.
one of the world's most valuable tech firms, apple, is heading to court in a bid to overturn a multi—billion dollar tax bill in back taxes in ireland as part of a landmark case in the eu's crackdown on tax avoidance by multinational companies. three years ago, the european commission ruled apple received illegal state aid from ireland when it effectively paid only a 1% tax on its profits. the commission ordered ireland to collect $14 billion in taxes from the firm, and apple is appealing against it. but it's not the only tech giant under the spotlight. last week, google paid $1 billion to settle a french investigation into whether it had underpaid taxes. the search engine giant pays little tax in many european countries because it reports almost all of its sales in ireland. in a bid to close tax loopholes, france earlier this year passed a new digital services tax, meaning large multinationals will have to pay a 3% tax on sales generated in france.
the european competition commissioner, margrethe vestager, brought the case against apple back in 2016. speaking at the time she explained that her intention was about promoting fairer competition. to us, it is very much a competition case. because we have this instrument. first would be anti—trust that we would share with the us but we have another tool to secure fair competition in the playing field which is a state aid control. and they don't have this concept here in the states and i think that is one of the reasons why it is so foreign for them and that is why we get this pushback. dr sam fowles, frsa barrister from cornerstone barristers joins me now.
how do you think this will go? will apple succeed or will the european commission? this case will go on for a long time for —— long time. however, apple faces a much tougher challenge this time than the last time. the commission has recalibrated her approach, essentially learning from the instructions the court gave her last time around. this is a refined approach. the first indication i think we will get is that it the end of september when the general court is going to rule on to other competition cases involving tax and thatis competition cases involving tax and that is chrysler and starbucks. that will give us an indication into what the court‘ idea is was not this is about illegal state aid. that is the
bit of law that means the penalty for that is to pay back taxes. donald trump obviously describing the european union as acting as a supranational tax the european union as acting as a supra national tax authority. it isn‘t but it is a supranational authority. the underlying purpose of the eu is to create an underlying in the eu is to create an underlying in the area. if companies like apple are given special treatment in any of the eu states it gives them an unfair advantage against other companies. it is important to note that when this initial ruling was made under europe, ireland had to change the way that it dealt with apple. that was the immediate result of it. element and that has been coming for a long time. that is what one of the drivers of the celtic tiger, this rule that ireland has which essentially enabled companies that were registered in ireland to be for tax purposes be residence less. is a failure of the celtic
tiger and increasingly pressure under germany, ireland has closed this loophole but has left a lot of unfinished business. the advantages that companies gained over the years that companies gained over the years that that existed obviously haven‘t just disappeared overnight. sam, you are going to the uk supreme court pretty much from here. you are part of the team that is arguing that the uk government‘s decision to prorogue parliament is actually unlawful. that is right. i represent, among several other excellent lawyers, 73 members of parliament who are saying the government shouldn‘t be allowed to prorogue parliament whenever it feels convenient and that is a real issue here. is when parliament sta rts issue here. is when parliament starts to become a problem for the government, can it just starts to become a problem for the government, can itjust get rid of parliament? how do you think this process “— parliament? how do you think this process —— how long do you think
this process will take, in your professional opinion? my hope is that it will be quick because we have three days coming up but the court has determined the decision around quite quickly because otherwise there is not really a lot of point in the court making a decision at all if it leaves it for weeks, prorogation will be over. the benefits of what we say is another unlawful decision will have been obtained already. interesting, we shall keep a close eye. thank you for being with us this morning and explaining the situation with apple and also we shall let you know when that story progresses as well. but now, let us talk about president trump and his announcement that the united states has reached an initial trade agreement with japan. let‘s go to our asia business hub where rico hizon has been tell us more. president trump says he intends to enter into agreements with japan in the coming weeks, sally, and apart from the trade
agreement, mr trump said the us will also be getting into an executive arrangement with japan regarding digital trade. exact details have not been released but sources say this trade arrangement, while limited, would lowerjapanese ta riffs limited, would lowerjapanese tariffs on beef and other american farmed product. in return for cupping american tariffs on industrial goods like machinery. —— capping. it is not clear how much protection this arrangement would offerjapan against mr trump‘s threats to place tariffs on its cars. a penalty japan threats to place tariffs on its cars. a penaltyjapan is eager to avoid. in the deal, it looks unlikely to accept japan from avoid. in the deal, it looks unlikely to accethapan from mr trump‘s tariffs on a steel. over much of the past year, the scope has narrowed to exclude the automotive sector which is the source of most
of the $67 billion us trade deficit with japan. neither the trade or the digital agreement, with japan. neither the trade or the digitalagreement, sally, with japan. neither the trade or the digital agreement, sally, would revoke that might require a vote in congress under the so—called vast track approval process and last year, it notified congress it would have negotiations with japan under this method. it is a limited trade arrangement that both japan and the us have been working at over the past year. thanks a lot, the lovely to see you. now let‘s brief you on some other business stories. the wall streetjournal is reporting that wework‘s is expected to postpone its initial public offering after investors questioned how much the company is worth and its corporate governance. the paper says that the shared—workspace company, which had planned a roadshow to market the shares this week ahead of a trading debut next week, is now likely to shelve the offering until at least next month. a panel of international air—safety regulators are finishing
a report that‘s expected to criticize the initial us approval process for boeing 737 max jets. the regulators are also expected to call for a wide—ranging reassessment of how complex automated systems should be certified on future airliners. the federal aviation administration is expected to be criticised for what the panel describes as a lack of clarity and transparency. as the indian economy faces a slowdown, the big online companies that had invested in india are in a bind. some are moving away from big cities to finding new customers while others like amazon are hoping for a policy change to help them tide over the tough times. bbc‘s devina gupta reports. london—based online retailer gooves is preparing to launch a new collection. after a disappointing year, it desperately wants to turn around its fortunes in its single biggest market, india.
but the timing is tricky. the indian economy is facing a slowdown, and everything from demand to spending has been affected. so the fashion house has started building a customer base beyond the big cities. 65% of the population is under 35. it‘s tech savvy, it‘s very aspirational. in terms of the growth profile, what is quite telling, 50% of our business comes from the metros — the delhis, mumbais, the hyderabads, and so on. but the other 25% comes from tier—two, tier—three cities. even big firms like amazon, who have been operating in india for around six years, are yet to turn profitable here. that said, it has just invested $5 billion in india. much of it has been used to create a global centre in hyderabad. spread over 9.5 acres,
this is amazon‘s largest campus across the world, where it plans to employ nearly 15,000 people in software development and operations. while international players believe india has a huge potential as a market, for amazon, expanding here hasn‘t been an easy task. the government has recently relaxed rules for single—brand retail for brands like ikea and uniqlo, making it easier for them to sell their products online. but the changes... so amazon still can‘t hold an inventory to sell products here. there‘s a great deal of enthusiasm and alignment in what amazon can do for india and how india can have policies that a are more stable and predictable and allow us to invest longer. —— that are a lot more stable. when i look atjob growth, job creation, skilling, parliament, amazon‘s investments are so directly aligned with indian priorities.
e—commerce only makes up around 5% of the retail here with india in the midst of a downturn. it could be a while before online players see returns on their investments. devina gupta, bbc news, hyderabad. that is your business briefing. it‘s feared patient safety could be put at risk because of a shortage of nurses in england. the royal college of nursing has found for every extra nurse recruited, 157 people were admitted to hospital. the rcn is now calling on the government to indroduce a new law to ensure safe staffing levels. the legislation has already been brought in in scotland and wales.
reporter katharine de costa has more. too many nursing post are vacant. there is a shortfall of 11%, the point the royal college of nursing wa nts to point the royal college of nursing wants to highlight with these cardboard cutouts. the rcn says it isa cardboard cutouts. the rcn says it is a national crisis which put patients safety in danger. this is a crisis that everybody knows exists but it is not being dealt with that though it is a crisis and there is a real urgency to it. in patients are not reserving — make expecting it and we want the public to say it in safety in knowing somebody is going to listen to them. it has increased by nearly 10,000 over the last five yea rs by nearly 10,000 over the last five years but that figure is dwarfed in comparison to the number of admissions, up a 1.5 million over the same period. that means admissions are rising nearly three times faster than the nurse workforce. they are introducing a
law u nsafe workforce. they are introducing a law unsafe staff nursing levels but once a national body to be created to plan for the future nursing needs and it is asking for £1 billion of investment to boost student nurse numbers. and they will ensure high quality care. coming up at 6am on brea kfast: dan walker and louise minchin will have all the day‘s news, business and sport. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines: the uk‘s supreme court is set to consider whether boris johnson‘s five—week suspension of parliament is legal. polls have opened in israel for its second general election this year. prime minister benjamin netanyahu is hoping to win a fourth consecutive term in office.
now it‘s time to look at the stories that are making the headlines in the media across the world. "it all ends injeers" — that‘s what the metro‘s leading with. uk prime minister borisjohnson cancelled a press appearance to avoid pro—eu protesters. luxembourg‘s prime minister went ahead with the news conference, marking mrjohnson‘s absence with an empty podium. the financial times leads on the spike in oil prices after attacks in saudi arabia knocked out more than half of its production. could we finally be edging closer to a cure for the common cold? the news medical website reports that scientists at stanford university may have made a breakthrough.