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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 7/24/2017

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Get the digital magazine subscription today and draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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United States
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50 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
in brief

Europe ● The U.K.’s advertising regulator issued guidelines cracking down on gender stereotypes in commercials. ● Hoping to head off emissions concerns, Daimler voluntarily recalled more than 3 million diesel-engine Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe. The fix—a software patch—will cost about $255 million. ● Concerned about Russia’s election-hacking ability, Estonia moved to secure its balloting system, the only one in the world run entirely online. ▷ 40 ● The head of France’s armed forces, General Pierre de Villiers, resigned on July 19 after lashing out over planned budget cuts. Asia • “More watching, less sleep.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, summing up the company’s blockbuster quarter, during which international subscribers topped domestic customers for the first time. ● China partially blocked WhatsApp, the last of Facebook’s communication products still accessible in the country. ● Pakistan’s Supreme Court opened graft hearings against…

7 min.
how about a bit more room for competition?

As a former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, Jonathan Taplin isn’t your typical academic. Lately, though, he’s been busy writing somber tomes about market shares, monopolies, and online platforms. His conclusion: Amazon.com, Facebook, and Google have become too big and too powerful and, if not stopped, may need to be broken up. Crazy? Maybe not. Taplin, 70, author of Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy, knows digital media, having run the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California. Ten years before YouTube, he founded one of the first video-on-demand streaming services. He also knows media M&A as a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in the 1980s. He says Google is as close to a monopoly as the…

2 min.
south africa needs a new direction

The International Monetary Fund has pointed out that “South Africa’s vulnerabilities have become more pronounced.” That’s one way of putting it. A potentially prosperous and dynamic economy is on the fast track to ruin. Altering its course will take real political reform. Unemployment has risen 5 percentage points since 2008, to 28 percent. The population is expanding faster than its economy, which lately has grown at less than half the rate of sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Inequality in the country is among the highest in the world. These are the fruits of failed economic policy. Yet far from grasping the need for change, President Jacob Zuma at a recent conclave of the ruling African National Congress championed ideas for entrenching his dominance and enriching supporters. He’s trying to engineer the succession…

5 min.
the no. 1 airline gets its wings clipped

You’d think Qatar Airways, voted the world’s best airline in a passenger survey last month, would have no trouble keeping its seats filled. Instead, it’s had to cancel scores of flights after four neighboring countries barred it from their airspace; it’s also being kicked out of an American Airlines Group Inc. code share agreement that eased access to the crucial U.S. market. On July 12, Qatar Air’s brash chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker, issued a rare public apology after his description of U.S. flight attendants as “grandmothers” was condemned by other airline executives and labor unions. The carrier has now been pressed into service to fly 4,000 dairy cows into the country on cargo planes to assure fresh milk supplies during the blockade. It’s a humbling turn for an airline…

3 min.
wal-mart cracks the whip on suppliers

Long known for squeezing its vast network of suppliers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is about to step up the pressure. The focus this time is delivery scheduling, and the giant retailer isn’t messing around. Two days late? That’ll earn you a fine. One day early? That’s a fine, too. Right on time but goods aren’t packed properly? You guessed it—fine. The program, labeled On-Time, In-Full, seeks to add $1 billion to annual revenue by improving product availability at stores, according to slides from a presentation reviewed by Bloomberg, and it underscores the urgency Wal-Mart feels as it raises wages, cuts prices, and confronts rival Amazon.com Inc. “Wal-Mart has to find efficiencies wherever it can,” says Laura Kennedy, an analyst at Kantar Retail. “They’re trying to squeeze and squeeze and squeeze.” The initiative builds…

5 min.
where minority-worker networks are passé

Megan Schumann doesn’t seem like a woman who’d be cheerleading the end of the female advocacy group at auditing and consulting firm Deloitte LLP. The San Francisco-based consultant attended an all-girls high school at her own request and founded a women’s business group when she went to Georgetown University. But 30-year-old Schumann, who’s worked at Deloitte since graduating eight years ago, says it’s time workplace affinity groups for women and minorities were replaced by so-called inclusion councils where white men hold important seats at the table. “I am one of the more unlikely deserters from a women’s initiative,” she says. “But why go talk to a circle of people about something that feels like it’s tied to only one facet of your identity?” With diversity progress stalling in parts of corporate America,…