Tag Archives: Internet / World Wide Web

Amazon workers in Germany strike on ‘Prime Day’ | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Employees handling packages at Amazon’s logistics center in Mannheim, Germany, September 17, 2019. REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski / File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German trade union called on workers at seven Amazon warehouses to go on strike on Tuesday to coincide with a global “Prime Day” promotional event that was postponed due to the operational challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Verdi said it was orchestrating a two-day strike as part of a long-running battle with Amazon in Germany over better wages and conditions, noting that coronavirus bonuses introduced to workers in Germany in March had been canceled again in May.

An Amazon spokesperson said the majority of employees continued working as normal despite the strike calls. He said the company offered “an excellent salary”, with benefits and working conditions comparable to that of other important employers.

Verdi has been organizing strikes on the Amazon in Germany since 2013, most recently in June in protest over security after several staff at a logistics center tested positive for the coronavirus.

Germany is Amazon’s largest market after the United States.

Prime Day, usually held in July to boost summer sales, is now the start of the previous holiday shopping season. Members-only discounts are the main way Amazon markets Prime, a fast delivery and media streaming service that encourages customers to shop more on Amazon.

A report by news site Reveal said the week surrounding Prime Day last year was the most dangerous for injuries at Amazon’s fulfillment center, sparking criticism by leading unions. Amazon denies these claims.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi and Emma Thomasson; Edited by Kirsten Donovan

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Exclusive: Telefonica explores 5 billion euro fiber expansion in Germany – source | Instant News


FRANKFURT / BERLIN (Reuters) – Telefonica Spain TEF.MC is in the final stages of negotiating a deal of around 5 billion euros ($ 5.9 billion) to build fiber-optic networks in Germany, said people close to the matter.

FILE PHOTOS: General view showing Telefonica headquarters in Madrid, Spain, 12 June 2018. REUTERS / Juan Medina / Photo File

The company’s Telefonica Infrastructure unit plans to sign deals with banks and infrastructure investors by the end of the month, the sources said.

The bank will lend two-thirds of the money needed to build a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The rest will go to equity, including from investors who are now holding exclusive talks with the company, said the people, speaking on condition of anonymity as discussions are ongoing.

The price tag of around 5 billion euros will be the total investment amount, with the money going to the fiber venture gradually once project milestones are reached, one of the people added.

Lazard arranged the deals, people said.

Telefonica and Lazard declined to comment. Telefonica will report third quarter results on October 29.

Chief Operating Officer Angel Vila announced in July that Telefonica will develop a fiber network in underserved areas of Germany which will be built by a new infrastructure unit.

The local branch of the Spanish group, Telefonica Deutschland O2Dn.DE, is likely to take a passive equity stake and become a regular customer, sources with knowledge of the plan said.

The strategy, if realized, would mark a sharp reversal from the mobile-first plan implemented by Telefonica in Germany, where local units operate under the O2 brand and rely on rental capacity to serve broadband subscribers.

It will also add new liabilities on top of the 37 billion euros debt pile that Telefonica has been trying to reduce in recent years. Its shares have fallen 47% so far this year, putting an equity value of 17 billion euros in the business.

LATE TO THE PARTY

Telefonica Deutschland this week extended a 10-year agreement to lease broadband capacity from market leader Deutsche Telekom DTEGn.DE which, according to industry sources, offer very affordable ‘bitstream’ rates.

The word fiber project caused concern in the German market, where Telefonica Deutschland was a top broadband player before first renting access to Deutsche Telekom’s broadband network in 2013. Telefonica Deutschland has been running its fixed line network ever since.

Telefonica Deutschland now ranks fourth behind Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone VOD.L and 1 & 1 Drillisch DRIG.DE with 2.2 million retail broadband subscribers – 6.2% market share, according to a recent study by the VATM industry association, which categorizes alternative telecom providers.

Launching a debt-backed business can be risky, as other fiber-only players had their start. Swedish infrastructure group EQT EQTAB.ST has, for example, purchased and combined the fiber pioneers Inexio and Deutsche Glasfaser.

“Maybe I lack imagination, but I am having trouble seeing a good starting point for Telefonica to build a FTTH network in Germany,” said one industry source, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

What’s more, even though there are 5 million FTTP connections available in Germany, only 37% are active. That’s a symptom of a widespread reluctance to pay more for gigabit speeds when most households are happy with the bandwidth they already have, said sources at industry competitors.

Earlier this year, Telefonica Deutschland sold 10,100 towers and roof sites for $ 1.5 billion to Telxius, an infrastructure unit created by the Spanish group, which carries KKR. KKR.N and owner Zara Amancio Ortega as supporters.

Citi analyst Georgios Ierodiaconou said Telefonica Deutschland will likely get some of the proceeds from the sale into the German fiber venture, which management has signaled will go hand in hand with existing capacity lease arrangements.

($ 1 = 0.8516 euros)

Additional reporting by Douglas Busvine and Isla Binnie; Edited by Mark Potter

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Exclusive: Telefonica explores 5 billion euro fiber expansion in Germany – source | Instant News


FRANKFURT / BERLIN (Reuters) – Telefonica Spain TEF.MC is in the final stages of negotiating a deal of around 5 billion euros ($ 5.9 billion) to build fiber-optic networks in Germany, said people close to the matter.

FILE PHOTOS: General view showing Telefonica headquarters in Madrid, Spain, 12 June 2018. REUTERS / Juan Medina / Photo File

The company’s Telefonica Infrastructure unit plans to sign deals with banks and infrastructure investors by the end of the month, the sources said.

The bank will lend two-thirds of the money needed to build a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The rest will go to equity, including from investors who are now holding exclusive talks with the company, said the people, speaking on condition of anonymity as discussions are ongoing.

The price tag of around 5 billion euros will be the total investment amount, with the money going to the fiber venture gradually once project milestones are reached, one of the people added.

Lazard arranged the deals, people said.

Telefonica and Lazard declined to comment. Telefonica will report third quarter results on October 29.

Chief Operating Officer Angel Vila announced in July that Telefonica will develop a fiber network in underserved areas of Germany which will be built by a new infrastructure unit.

The local branch of the Spanish group, Telefonica Deutschland O2Dn.DE, is likely to take a passive equity stake and become a regular customer, sources with knowledge of the plan said.

The strategy, if realized, would mark a sharp reversal from the mobile-first plan implemented by Telefonica in Germany, where local units operate under the O2 brand and rely on rental capacity to serve broadband subscribers.

It will also add new liabilities on top of the 37 billion euros debt pile that Telefonica has been trying to reduce in recent years. Its shares have fallen 47% so far this year, putting an equity value of 17 billion euros in the business.

LATE TO THE PARTY

Telefonica Deutschland this week extended a 10-year agreement to lease broadband capacity from market leader Deutsche Telekom DTEGn.DE which, according to industry sources, offer very affordable ‘bitstream’ rates.

The word fiber project caused concern in the German market, where Telefonica Deutschland was a top broadband player before first renting access to Deutsche Telekom’s broadband network in 2013. Telefonica Deutschland has been running its fixed line network ever since.

Telefonica Deutschland now ranks fourth behind Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone VOD.L and 1 & 1 Drillisch DRIG.DE with 2.2 million retail broadband subscribers – 6.2% market share, according to a recent study by the VATM industry association, which categorizes alternative telecom providers.

Launching a debt-backed business can be risky, as other fiber-only players had their start. Swedish infrastructure group EQT EQTAB.ST has, for example, purchased and combined the fiber pioneers Inexio and Deutsche Glasfaser.

“Maybe I lack imagination, but I am having trouble seeing a good starting point for Telefonica to build a FTTH network in Germany,” said one industry source, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

What’s more, even though there are 5 million FTTP connections available in Germany, only 37% are active. That’s a symptom of a widespread reluctance to pay more for gigabit speeds when most households are happy with the bandwidth they already have, said sources at industry competitors.

Earlier this year, Telefonica Deutschland sold 10,100 towers and roof sites for $ 1.5 billion to Telxius, an infrastructure unit created by the Spanish group, which carries KKR. KKR.N and owner Zara Amancio Ortega as supporters.

Citi analyst Georgios Ierodiaconou said Telefonica Deutschland will likely get some of the proceeds from the sale into the German fiber venture, which management has signaled will go hand in hand with existing capacity lease arrangements.

($ 1 = 0.8516 euros)

Additional reporting by Douglas Busvine and Isla Binnie; Edited by Mark Potter

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image source

No skiing allowed, but luxury still on the top of a mountain at the World Economic Forum 2021 near Lucerne | Instant News


ZURICH (Reuters) – There will be no snow but there will still be a backdrop of dramatic Swiss mountains as world elites gather for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) near the city of Lucerne next year.

Buergenstock, in central Switzerland, has been chosen to host the May meeting of world political and business leaders, above Davos, an Alpine skiing destination synonymous with the annual jamboree.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the WEF to move gatherings away from the resort that has hosted the famous event since the early 1970s, but is said to be aiming to return to Davos for its 2022 annual meeting.

The WEF is rescheduling its 2021 annual meeting to 18-21 May as a combination of live and remote digital events through a network of 400 hubs worldwide.

For Wall Street bankers and Silicon Valley investors who can do it firsthand, Buergenstock still offers luxury hotels, fine dining, and mountain activities – albeit on foot rather than skiing.

“The meeting will take place as long as all conditions are in place to ensure the health and safety of participants and the host community,” the WEF said in a statement.

The 2021 meeting will be held under the theme “The Great Reset” to plan a path to recovery from the pandemic “and to rebuild a more cohesive and sustainable society”.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Edited by Toby Chopra

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Google is depriving Australia of the News Showcase launch amid regulatory resentment | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Google has postponed the launch of its News Showcase in Australia citing regulatory complications, just three months after announcing the product, as the US internet giant grapples with one of the boldest attempts to control its activities.

FILE PHOTOS: A Google sign displayed at one of the company’s office complexes in Irvine, California, USA, July 27, 2020. REUTERS / Mike Blake

After naming Australia, Germany and Brazil as markets where it will start paying publishers to display their news, Alphabet Inc. GOOGL.O The unit is depriving Australia of product launches this week because its antitrust agency pushed a law that forces Google to pay royalties for content across the industry.

Accordingly, Google said it had “terminated” contracts with five local publishers whose stories would be featured in the News Showcase, which featured content on swipeable cards called story panels.

“As we work to understand the impact of the news media’s bargaining code on partnerships and products, we have put this project on hold for now,” Google’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Mel Silva, told Reuters by email.

“While our concerns about the code are serious, we hope it can be resolved so that we can bring the News Fair to Australia soon,” said Silva.

The delays are a bottleneck in a strategy widely seen as an attempt by technology heavyweights to show they can work with media companies as governments around the world, led by Australia, seek new laws to get them to pay for content on search engines. .

Overnight, Google said it would pay $ 1 billion to publishers around the world for their news over three years, an initiative that some industry bodies say exerts too much influence on royalty payment terms without involving the law.

A month after Google announced content deals in Australia, Germany and Brazil, the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) said it might bring in arbitrators to decide how big US company and social media giant Facebook Inc. FB.O have to pay for the news that appears on their site.

Facebook responded by saying it may withdraw all news items from Australian web pages. Google says the ACCC’s stance has put its flagship search engine under threat.

“It’s a shame that work on this project has been temporarily suspended, but before we blame regulators, we must not forget that the work being done by the ACCC is giving Google a lot of impetus to strike deals with Australian publishers,” said Misha Ketchell, editor and executive director of the publisher. which focuses on academics The Conversation, one of the companies that Google has a deal with.

“We are still optimistic. “We’ve been talking to Google all this time and they’re a lot more open-minded than their public campaign might suggest,” said Ketchell.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims, who plans to make final policy recommendations on Big Tech’s content royalties this month, said he was aware of “voluntary commercial arrangements offered by major platforms”.

“We note that the timing of this offering appears to coincide with increased Government oversight both in Australia and overseas,” Sims said in an email to Reuters.

“The (ACCC) objective is a commercial outcome, not one-sided.”

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Edited by Christopher Cushing

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