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Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition January 20, 2020

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. 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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50 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
in brief

Violent protests erupted in Iran after the government admitted to accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after it took off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Turkey and Russia failed in their joint effort to end the almost decade-long civil war in Libya. Khalifa Haftar, commander of the insurgent Libyan National Army, who’s leading the assault on Tripoli, the capital, rejected a proposed truce agreement, jeopardizing a provisional cease-fire. Visa agreed to pay $5.3b for Plaid, a fintech company that connects popular apps such as Venmo to customer data in the established banking system. The price of Tesla shares topped $500 for the first time. Analysts are more optimistic that the carmaker can generate free cash flow now that its factory in China has begun rolling out the popular Model 3.…

1 min.

▶ The President and the Activist The 50th edition of the Davos World Economic Forum, taking place Jan. 21-24, will focus on sustainability. Donald Trump plans to attend, as does his young nemesis, Swedish eco-activist Greta Thunberg. ▷ 34 ▶ On Jan. 21, Netflix reports earnings for the fourth quarter, during which it began streaming its most ambitious and costly production so far: The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. ▶ UBS also unveils fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 21. The Swiss banking giant has begun a sweeping round of job cuts at its wealth management unit, its most important business. ▶ The extradition hearing for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou begins in Vancouver on Jan. 20. U.S. authorities want to bring her to trial on charges of violating sanctions against Iran. ▶ The…

10 min.
the one who got away

The European Union’s leaders looked anxiously at their watches and asked where the British prime minister was. They’d gathered in a 500-year-old monastery in Lisbon for a special ceremony to sign a landmark treaty, and it wasn’t really the done thing for one of their number not to turn up. It was December 2007, and Gordon Brown was the PM. “We need Gordon,” then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy was heard to say in English at one point, but when the leaders picked up their pens, Gordon was still in London. If ever you wanted an example of Britain’s not-quite-sure-about-all-this attitude to the EU, that was it. Brown’s no-show wasn’t because he opposed the treaty. In fact, his plan was to get it ratified by Parliament as soon as he could. He just…

5 min.
can the renault-nissan marriage be saved?

For Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., the Carlos Ghosn saga is a nightmare that never seems to end. Fallout from their ex-boss’s November 2018 arrest in Tokyo for alleged financial crimes permeated deep into the French and Japanese carmakers’ operations, paralyzing decision-making and straining their two-decade partnership nearly to the breaking point. Yet in the last few months of 2019, the companies gave themselves a second chance to mend the shattered relationship. In a bid to start anew, Nissan replaced top management and Renault dramatically ousted its chief executive officer, former Ghosn protégé Thierry Bollore. But the bad dream came back with a vengeance when Ghosn burst back onto the global scene as an international fugitive, following a spectacular escape from Japan and his strict bail restrictions to his native…

5 min.
5g has a health-scare problem

In the small Alpine town of Wohlen, a fierce backlash against the latest generation of mobile phone technology is under way. The Swiss municipality won’t allow Sunrise Communications AG or other phone companies to build masts to broadcast 5G, citing concerns about health risks from the towers’ electromagnetic radiation. Activist group Frequencia, which calls for limits on 5G’s rollout in part because of fears about cancer risks, attracted hundreds of people to a mass protest outside parliament in Bern in September. Reticence in Wohlen and other parts of Switzerland, including Geneva, has created an obstacle to Sunrise’s plans to provide the latest services. “All this stuff has delayed my rollout vs. my own company plan,” says Olaf Swantee, who resigned as chief executive officer on Jan. 3 in the wake of…

6 min.
a housing start for microsoft

When Microsoft Corp. unveiled a $500 million pledge last January to tackle the housing crisis in the Seattle area, the event had most of the trappings of a product launch. During a slick presentation, President Brad Smith walked through the numbers: A booming economy had led to a housing shortage that was squeezing everybody whose wages couldn’t match Microsoft-level salaries. His company, then valued at $800 billion, had taken an interest in evening things out. “Every day for 40 years, we at Microsoft have benefited from the support of this community,” Smith said. “We want our success to support the region in return.” The only thing the launch was missing was a fully fleshed-out product. Microsoft wanted help investing the money. In the year since, Apple, Facebook, and Google have followed Microsoft’s…