MUSIC INDUSTRY CLAIMS 95 PER CENT OF DOWNLOADS ILLEGAL AS CD SALES FALL
A quarter of all recorded music industry revenues come from digital channels but online file-sharing continues to undermine the global music industry, with sales of physical and digital music falling last year, according to trade body the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The IFPI said physical music sales, such as CDs, fell 16 per cent to $11.6bn, with digital sales growth slowing to 12 per cent to reach $4.2bn.
BT GOES ON BROADBAND OFFENSIVE
BT outlined an aggressive pricing strategy for its new superfast broadband service on Thursday in a move it hopes will enable it to poach rivals’ customers. Britain’s leading fixed-line telephone company said consumers would have to pay £20 per month for its high-speed broadband service based on optical fibre. The £20 offer is £8 cheaper than a similar broadband service provided by Virgin Media, the cable television operator and currently BT’s only rival in high-speed internet access.
MINISTERS PUSH BILL FOR AGENCY WORKERS
New rights for 1.3m temporary workers threaten to hinder job creation in a recovery, employers warned as the government began a push to get the controversial agency workers directive into law before the election. Business groups were relieved ministers had resisted trade union pressure to bring forward implementation from October next year, but worried the directive would undermine the UK’s flexible labour market by increasing the cost and bureaucracy of hiring temps. Business groups said certain rules went further than the European Union directive required.
allen & overy adapts to
Allen & Overy, the fourth-largest of the City’s “magic circle” law firms, said yesterday it would allow its top partners to work part-time in an effort to encourage more women into the role. As at most City firms, Allen & Overy already allows junior lawyers and support staff to take up flexible working. But equity partners — the most senior lawyers — have been regarded as too important not to be working full time. From May, even the most senior members of the firm will be able to work a four-day week.
BELGIAN UNIONS DECLARE OPEL BLOCKADE
Unions yesterday announced a blockade of the Opel factory in Antwerp after a decision by General Motors, the parent company, to close it this year with the loss of all 2,600 jobs.
The Daily Telegraph
RUSAL REFINANCES DEBT AHEAD OF IPO
Aluminium group Rusal, which is majority owned by Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch, has cut the investment risk in its initial public offering after a critical $4.5bn (£2.8bn) refinancing. The Russian company was expected to close the book in Hong Kong late on Thursday, with the offering now expected to be priced at the higher end of the HK$10.8 to HK$12 (86p to 95p) indicated range.
PARENTS STILL IN POVERTY AFTER FINDING WORK
Parents are struggling to climb out of poverty in the three years after finding work, according to new survey. It prompted economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – which compiled the report – to suggest families may decide to quit work, thinking they are better off on benefits.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
AMD REPORTS A PROFIT
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. swung to a hefty profit in the fourth quarter, aided by a $1.25 billion payment by rival Intel to settle a lawsuit and by improving demand for computers that use AMD chips. The chip maker also said it will stop including results from its spun-off manufacturing operations in the current quarter, a development that analysts expect to make it easier for AMD to remain profitable.
EMERGING MARKETS TO DRIVE CAR SALES
Brazil, Russia, India and China will account for more than one-third of global automotive sales within the next four years, and what car sells best will be as varied as the countries themselves. Automotive sales in the “BRIC countries” are expected to grow at a rate of 3-15 per cent a year.