LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - A global anti-Huawei push risks making an already concentrated market even less competitive. The drive is defensible on security grounds, but could lead to higher mobile bills, less investment and more widespread outages like the one caused on Thursday by Swedish group Ericsson’s glitchy software.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alan Jope’s tenure at Unilever will be like the company’s popular British spread Marmite: smooth at first with a bitter aftertaste. The consumer giant’s new chief executive can cruise until 2020, but may then have to revisit controversial reforms to its dual-share structure.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Margrethe Vestager is sending mixed signals to scale-hungry European corporates. The competition commissioner may wave through a Dutch mobile merger, Reuters reported, but impose concessions that could sink Siemens and Alstom’s rail tie-up, says the FT. That’ll disappoint politicians and bankers hoping to build EU champions to counter America and China.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nissan and Renault’s standoff could quickly descend into a demolition derby. The Japanese carmaker wants more say in the alliance. Given the partnership’s lopsided governance, Nissan’s best bet would be to snap up shares in Renault, neutralising its controlling stake. The exit of Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn makes such a radical move easier.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Something must give in France’s telecoms market. Three tycoons and state-backed Orange are bleeding each other dry in a price war: a monthly mobile phone tariff can now cost little more than a pain au chocolat. If billionaire owners like Iliad’s Xavier Niel, Patrick Drahi of Altice and Martin Bouygues can set aside their egos, four will become three in 2019.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - France is one of the few developed economies where the finance minister calls a press conference to mop up a corporate scandal. The problem for Bruno Le Maire and President Emmanuel Macron is that sticking their noses into Renault’s affairs risks fraying a partnership with Nissan that is essential to the French carmaker’s future.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Renault looks like the biggest loser in a scandal that has engulfed Carlos Ghosn. The French carmaker’s chief executive is being ousted as chairman of alliance partner Nissan, which said on Monday that he under-reported his salary. That’s bad for Renault since the Japanese company would have greater clout were a lopsided partnership to now be renegotiated.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nissan and Renault are paying the price for underestimating key-man risk. The Japanese carmaker’s Chairman Carlos Ghosn – also chief executive of its French partner – understated his compensation in official filings, Nissan said on Monday. His probable exit makes resolving the lopsided partnership harder.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Holding one of the world’s largest web conferences in Lisbon highlights an uncomfortable truth: Europe has produced vanishingly few large internet companies. Top billing at last week’s Web Summit in the Portuguese capital therefore went to American giants. Executives from Apple, Slack, Pinterest, Microsoft and Google (twice) all took to the main stage in the city’s cavernous Altice Arena. The only European businesses with dedicated centre-stage sessions were Royal Dutch Shell, the decidedly old economy energy behemoth, and consultancy Accenture.
PARIS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Few people have dedicated their careers to expanding international trade and globalism like Lamy, the former head of the WTO and EU commissioner. But rising rhetoric and increased tariffs between the U.S. and China have him worried, as he tells Rob Cox and Liam Proud in Paris.