The world this week -- Business
Samsung Electronics overhauled its senior management team and is to merge its smartphone business with its hitherto separate and wider consumer-electronics division.
Combining the two will boost Samsung’s ability to provide customers with joined-up services across devices, similar to Apple.
Concern grew about the Russian state’s intentions for social media when a complex set of deals involving subsidiaries linked to Gazprom gave the state-owned gas company voting control of VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network.
Its chief executive stepped down.
Russian media speculated that his replacement might be a senior executive at the state telecoms group, who is also the son of Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff.
Faced with an annual inflation rate running close to 11%, Brazil’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the seventh time in 2021, by a hefty 1.5 percentage points to 9.25%, and indicated there will be more to come in 2022.
Productivity among American workers in the third quarter declined by 5.2% from the previous quarter (on an annualised basis), the steepest such fall since 1960.
The number of hours worked rose by 7.4%, far outpacing a 1.8% jump in output.
The supply-chain crunch may have been a factor.
The takeover of Arm, a British chip designer, by Nvidia, an American company which designs and sells computer chips, came closer to collapse.
America’s Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal, arguing that it will harm competition.
British and EU regulators are also investigating the takeover, though the EU has paused its inquiry.
The takeover was announced more than a year ago.
Uber’s business in London took another knock when the High Court ruled that it cannot act as the agent between the passenger and driver, meaning Uber, and not the driver, is liable for any mishaps affecting car journeys.
Uber had sought a clarification of the law after the British Supreme Court decided in February that its drivers are workers, not contractors.
This week’s ruling will apply to all private-hire car firms in the capital.
London is one of Uber’s biggest urban markets.
A report from Inrix, a trans port analytics firm, found that London had become the world’s most congested city, with motorists spending an average of 148 hours in traffic jams during 2021.
The report (which omits cities such as Cairo and Lagos where Inrix lacks data) said that congestion in London was almost back to pre-pandemic levels, even though trips to central London were still down on those of 2019.
In New York the overall number of hours lost to traffic delays was 27% below those of 2019 and in Los Angeles, 40%.
In Paris it was 15%.