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Monopolies cost Americans $300 a month. We’re no longer the land of free markets | Thomas Philippon

In a reversal from a few decades ago, American consumers are facing oligopolies while Europeans benefit from competition When I landed in Boston in 1999, the United States was the land of free markets. Many goods and services were cheaper here than in Europe. Twenty years later, American free markets are becoming a myth. Internet service, cellphone plans, and plane tickets are now cheaper in Europe and Asia than in the US. In 2018, the twice as much on cellphone services as households in France or the UK. This is…

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Starbucks’ holiday cups will be back this week

New York (CNN Business)Christmas time has arrived at Starbucks once again. This year, Starbucks is selling five specialty holiday drinks: the peppermint mocha, toasted white chocolate mocha, caramel brulee latte, chestnut praline latte and eggnog latte, in addition to its Christmas coffee blend. It’s also selling a number of seasonal foods, including a turkey and stuffing panini, sugar plum danish and gingerbread loaf, among others. Although in the past Starbucks has experimented with less Christmasy cups, this year it’s sticking to the holiday theme with red and green designs. Two cups have the phrase “Merry…

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GM strike ends after 40 days with 48,000 staff to return to work

Strike by workers who said they wanted a fair share of companys $25bn profits, started 16 September and reportedly cost GM more than $2bn The longest strike by autoworkers in a decade came to an end on Friday as United Auto Workers members voted to approve a new deal with Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/25/uaw-united-auto-workers-general-motors-strike-deal

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Amazon profits drop sharply amid big spending to speed package delivery

Quarterly profits down to $2.1bn from $2.9bn a year earlier as US politicians focus greater scrutiny on Amazons business practices Amazons profits slid 26% in the last quarter as the company poured money into free shipping and its cloud storage business. While the companys revenues rose sharply, up 24% to $70bn for the quarter or more than $23bn a month, its profits fell to $2.1bn down from $2.9bn from a year earlier. The financial miss comes as Amazon is facing greater scrutiny from Washington, with politicians from both sides calling…

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The Dominos pizza checker is just the beginning workplace surveillance is coming for you | Arwa Mahdawi

The company, which uses a smart scanner to analyse whether food has been made correctly, is far from the only business to use tech to track workers, writes Arwa Mahdawi Hello? Is that Dominos? I would like a large cheese pizza with an ominous side of surveillance, please. Earlier this year, Dominos, the worldwide purveyor of mediocre pizza, introduced a snazzy tool called om Pizza Checker to its Australia and New Zealand locations. According to its website, in-store cameras use advanced machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensor technology to identify…

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McDonald’s to debut new plant-based burger

Small-market test rolls out months after rival Burger King began testing the plant-based Impossible Foods burger McDonalds is finally taking a nibble of the plant-based burger. McDonalds said Thursday that will sell the PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in south-western Ontario by the end of the month. The small-market test is rolling out about six months after rival Burger King began testing the plant-based Impossible Foods burger, which no surprise, is a rival to Beyond Meat. Its now selling those burgers…

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Boeing committee expected to make safety recommendations this week

Washington (CNN Business)A small committee from Boeing’s board is expected to deliver safety recommendations to the full board this week, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The committee is expected to call for changes to the company’s structure including the creation of new groups focused on safety and urge the company to make changes to airplane cockpits to accommodate new pilots who may have less training, the source said. The committee will recommend that Boeing (BA) engineers first report safety concerns, which may slow development, to the…

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145 CEOs sign a letter pleading with Congress to address gun violence

New York (CNN Business)145 business leaders have signed a letter demanding the US government take action on gun violence. The business leaders say the proposals outlined in their letter are “bipartisan” and “widely supported by the American public.” The group primarily includes CEOs from tech, media and startups. Major names on the list include Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Lyft (LYFT) cofounders Logan Green and John Zimmer, Uber (UBER) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey, Levi Strauss (LEVI) CEO Chip Bergh and Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington. Two notable…

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Saudi Arabia fires its oil minister for the second time in 3 years

London (CNN Business)Saudi Arabia has a new oil minister. Prince Abdulaziz is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s half brother and has been a member of Saudi Arabia’s delegation to OPEC for many years. He becomes the first member of the royal family to serve as oil minister. His appointment breaks with long standing tradition and follows the removal of al-Falih as chairman of the giant state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco just last week. The leadership changes are the latest in a string of developments to prepare Aramco to go public…

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It’s now easier than ever for US small businesses to go bankrupt | Gene Marks

Reorganizing under chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code has been too onerous and expensive a task but the Small Business Reorganization Act provides relief With the economy relatively strong and most small businesses doing pretty well, this may not seem like the most opportune time to be thinking of bankruptcy. But lets face it: when the economy ultimately turns downwards, many small businesses are going to face financial hardship. And many of those may very well be forced into bankruptcy. In the past the problem has been that getting a…

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In Belgium, a 21-Year-Old Is Making$50,000 Watches

Source: Hodinkee The "Old Mind" series consists of two prototypes, each featuring a different style of hand- pattern on the dial, and a 60-second tourbillon movement. This is the break-out model from Van Bricht, a fledgeling high horology out of Belgium. Two young watchmakers teamed up to form the brand, and they plan to make 25 examples of these watches.  Source: Hodinkee Bernard, at 21 years old, hasn't wasted any time making his name as a top  around Europe. While he's trained in watchmaking, it's the old art of hand engraving and engine…

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4 People Dead, 29 Missing in California Boat Fire

Source: Ventura County Fire Department via AP Los Angeles (AP) — The Latest on a dive boat on fire off the coast of California (all times local): 1:15 p.m. The boat with 33 passengers aboard that burned while anchored close to shore of one of Southern California's Channel Islands had no recent safety violations. The Santa Barbara-based Conception was carrying recreational scuba divers and caught fire early Monday. Five crew members jumped to safety but all 33 passengers were missing. Four bodies were later recovered and the search for others…

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Can Burger King’s meat-free burger attract the climate conscious?

Chains are jumping on the meat-substitute bandwagon but some experts say vegetarian options could boost beef sales The moment I walk out of Burger King with a warm bag of vegetarian Impossible Whoppers, a plastic voucher is thrust into my hand. Have you tried Dunkin Donuts Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich? a woman asks. It is meatless! Dunkin (11 years left to tackle. Veggie options no longer vie for a dusty corner of the menu in fast-food chains. Now they are jockeying to appeal to climate-conscious young people. Plant-based choices are…

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How do you get a loan when your business is in the ‘wrong’ part of town?

A study has found that businesses in lower-income and minority areas received surprise a smaller share of bank loans than those in richer, whiter areas Want to improve your relationship with your banker? The answers easy: just move your business to a nicer part of town. Unfortunately, thats the very real problem faced by many small businesses around the country who are located in lower-income or minority areas. This conclusion was reached in a told the Woodstock Institute. Beard cannot obtain a traditional bank loan so her new business, Marys…

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Viagra and EpiPen drugmakers form a $20-billion-a-year powerhouse

New York (CNN Business)Pfizer and Mylan announced they are combining two of their businesses to create a global powerhouse in the low-price drug market. The management team will include people from Mylan and Upjohn. Mylan’s current chairman, Robert Coury, will be its executive chairman and Upjohn’s current president, Michael Goettler, will be the CEO. Mylan’s current CEO, Heather Bresch, will retire after the deal closes. Mylan’s (MYL) stock is up 15% in early trading. Pfizer’s (PFE)stock is down nearly 3%. Both drugmakers recently lost exclusive rights to manufacture drugs that…

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