Enterprise

EU fines ASUS and three other companies for online price fixing

Companies face EUR 111 million in fines

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Over the past months, the European Commission has kept itself busy with a company hit list that keeps growing every week. Recently, the commission handed out the biggest fine in history to Google for breaking anti-trust laws. Now, four more companies have received fines for anti-competition.

Based on a press release from the commission itself, the four companies include ASUS, Denon & Marantz, Philips, and Pioneer. Throughout the past decade, all four companies prevented online retailers from setting their own prices to the former’s products.

The release states that the companies required retailers to sign a contract. If online retailers didn’t follow prescribed prices, the companies would pull out their stocks.

Usually, an online retailer sets its own prices to fuel competition between other retailers. Sometimes, they can hold season-long discounts promos to boost sales numbers. The contract disallowed them from changing the affected companies’ prices in any way.

Further, these companies have checked on their retailers’ prices using instantaneous monitoring software. This enabled them to execute swift actions when a retailer voids a contract.

Fortunately, these practices (as far as these four companies are concerned) have stopped as of the past few years. However, the period from which these practices occurred are still finable from EU’s standards. According to the commissions, these periods, spanning from 2011 to 2015, are enough to incur substantial fines for all four companies.

In total, these fines amount to more than EUR 111 million. Of these, ASUS grabbed a huge share — EUR 63.5 million. To their credit, all four also got a 40 to 50 percent reduction for participating in the EU’s investigation.

Currently, more companies are also under investigation. For example, Nike, Sanrio, and Valve might suffer the same fate soon.

Despite the guilty verdict, these fines don’t compare to the millions in profit that these companies have earned. More than anything, the EU’s decision serves as a warning against violators in the future.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi breaks into top 5 smartphone vendors of Europe

Enterprise

Google will contribute $800 million via ads to fight Coronavirus

Here’s why it’s a notable contribution

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Google has committed to donating more than US$ 800 million to support businesses, organizations, and healthcare workers as part of its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Breaking it down, it says it’ll give the World Health Organization (WHO) and global government agencies a total of US$ 250 million in ad allowances.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, confirmed that another US$ 340 million in ad credits will be provided to small and mediumsized businesses who’ve actively advertised via them over the last year.

Furthermore, the company is establishing a US$ 200 million investment fund to help small businesses get access to capital. Lastly, it’ll be offering US$ 20 million in Google Cloud credits to researchers and academicians to unleash the power of computing on the virus. Research requires an exorbitant amount of computing power since formulas, calculations, and simulation models are supremely complex.

Google may seem like a technology company, but business-wise, it’s the world’s largest advertising company. Everyone who has access to the internet has at some point, used a Google service. This is how the company attracts users via its suite of services and serves them ads. For a behemoth like Google, it’s easy to reach out because of its robust advertising network.

The company not only serves ads on its own services but also exports out ads to other websites via services like AdSense. While it may seem Google isn’t actually giving away money from its profits but from its revenues, it doesn’t matter. The end contribution to the cause is what matters. And the company is leveraging its power to reach out.

These ads can help local authorities across the world fight misinformation about the virus. Moreover, also spread awareness passively while people are indoors in isolation and constantly connected via the internet.

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Enterprise

OPPO enhances in-store measures to ensure consumers’ safety

The company doing its part

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With rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, OPPO is enhancing its in-store measures to protect customers. These in-house measures are necessary as businesses continue their normal operations in Singapore and some parts of the Philippines.

First among the safety measures that are in place is store disinfection. Disinfection will now happen twice a day in all OPPO experience stores.  The disinfection process will focus more on demonstration units, where most customers interact with an OPPO demo device. Plus, the company is now requiring every customer to sanitize their hands before entering a store.

OPPO is also requiring its employees to wear surgical masks when interacting with customers. Plus, employees must submit to health checks before beginning their shifts. If they are feeling unwell, the company will advise them to see a doctor immediately.

On top of that, the company is encouraging everyone to maintain good health and practice proper hygiene.

Such in-house measures are desperately needed especially during these times. Singapore’s COVID-19 cases tally at 500 people. So far, the country has managed to contain the viral transmission. However, the situation is far from over as cases keep increasing each day.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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Enterprise

Apple is no longer a trillion dollar company

For now, at least

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A year and a half ago, Apple obtained the highly prized distinction of becoming a trillion-dollar company. At the time, the American company’s share prices peaked, pushing it as the first American company to earn the distinction. Since then, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet have crossed the trillion-dollar mark.

Unfortunately, as with the perilous law of gravity, what comes up must come down. Following the worldwide spread of coronavirus, gravity is calling for the heads of the recent economic boom. Share prices are crashing. Technology sales are plummeting. No one wants to participate in heavy businesses in this treacherous time.

The uncertainty of the age has now claimed its first victim. That is, if you call losing a few billion dollars a huge loss. Today, Apple has lost its prestigious status as a trillion-dollar company.

Last month, Apple posted a new 52-week high share price of US$ 327. Today, the company continued its downfall, posting a share price of US$ 219.75, at the time of this writing. It last recorded this price around October 2019.

With the new valuation, Apple is now valued at around US$ 977 billion, a clear mark below one trillion. This likely won’t end soon, as the economy dips further and further.

Following Apple’s departure on the elite list, Microsoft remains the only American company on the trillion-dollar list. At the time of this writing, the company is still valued at US$ 1.021 trillion. (Google and Amazon have crashed to US$ 724.503 billion and US$ 947.643 billion, respectively.)

SEE ALSO: Apple’s next iPhone camera comes from NASA technology

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