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Video Analytics Market Worth $13,001.7 Million at 21.3% CAGR; Industry Giants Such as IBM and Cisco to Ramp up Investments to Develop Advanced Data-driven Video Solutions: Fortune Business Insights™

List of the Companies Profiled in the Market: Viseum International (Potters Bar, England), AllGoVision (Karnataka, India), Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen, China), Agent VI (New York, United States), Gorilla Technology Group (Taipei, Taiwan), Cisco Systems, Inc. (California, United States), IBM Corporation (New York, United States), Kiwisecurity (Vienna, Austria), Axis Communications AB (Lund, Sweden), Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany), Honeywell International Inc. (Charlotte, United States), Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Avigilon Corporation) (Illinois, United States), ULTINOUS Zrt. (Budapest, Hungary) Viseum International (Potters Bar, England), AllGoVision (Karnataka, India), Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen, China), Agent VI (New York, United States), Gorilla Technology Group (Taipei, Taiwan),

/EIN News/ — Pune, India, July 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The global video analytics market size is projected to reach USD 13,001.7 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 21.3% during the forecast period. Development and introduction of video analytics to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is emerging as a major game-changer for this market, observes Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled “Video Analytics Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Component (Solutions, Services), By Application (Crowd Management, Facial Recognition, Intrusion Detection, License Plate Recognition, Motion Detection, and Others), By End-user (BFSI, City Surveillance, Critical Infrastructure, Education, Government, Retail, Transportation, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027”. With coronavirus cases refusing to abate, several tech companies are seizing this opportunity to create and launch smart analytics solutions to augment governments’ capacities to battle the pandemic.

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For example, in August 2020, AllGoVision Technologies launched AllSafe, a video analytics suite developed by the company to enhance safety and security of people in offices and public areas, having features such as No-Mask Detection and Contact Tracing. Facial recognition specialists such as Herta are releasing advanced video analytics, especially for airlines, to identify people even when they are wearing masks. In December 2020, Johnson Controls and Microsoft announced the integration of the OpenBlue Digital Twin and the Azure Digital Twin platforms that will leverage video analytic technologies to enable companies to efficiently implement COVID safety measures and maximize digital space. These are a few examples of market players utilizing the innovation opportunities thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic, which are benefiting this market.

As per the report, the global market value in 2019 stood at USD 2,896.0 million in 2019. The salient features of the report include:

  • Microscopic assessment of the trends, drivers, and restraints influencing market growth;
  • Comprehensive analysis of the regional developments impacting the market;
  • Actionable research into the key players’ profiles and their strategies; and
  • Holistic study of all market segments.

List of Key Companies Profiled in the Video Analytics Market Report:

  • Viseum International (Potters Bar, England)
  • AllGoVision (Karnataka, India)
  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.  (Shenzhen, China)
  • Agent VI (New York, United States)
  • Gorilla Technology Group (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (California, United States)
  • IBM Corporation (New York, United States)
  • Kiwisecurity (Vienna, Austria)
  • Axis Communications AB (Lund, Sweden)
  • Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Honeywell International Inc.  (Charlotte, United States)
  • Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Avigilon Corporation) (Illinois, United States)
  • ULTINOUS Zrt. (Budapest, Hungary)

Driving Factor

Expanding Utilization of AI-based Video Analytics by Governments to Feed Market Growth

The proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies in administrative, public safety, and law enforcement domains is emerging as a major driving force for the video analytics market growth. Governments in several countries are actively deploying AI-powered video analytics and facial recognition solutions to conduct efficient surveillance of citizens, public infrastructures and spaces, and improve the quality of governance. According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s AI Global Surveillance (AIGS) Index, 75 out of 176 countries worldwide are actively using AI for surveillance activities, including smart policing, facial recognition, and smart city development. The AIGS further reveals that 51% of the liberal advanced democracies and a large chunk of full democracies extensively utilize a wide range of surveillance technologies. Adoption of AI-based video analytics technologies by government agencies will prove highly beneficial for this market in the near future.

Click here to get the short-term and long-term impact of COVID-19 on this market.

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Regional Insights

North America to Spearhead the Market Backed by Rapid Uptake of Advanced Surveillance Systems

North America is envisaged to dominate the video analytics market share during the forecast period on account of the speedy adoption of AI-based video surveillance systems by government authorities in the US. Furthermore, major cities across the US have made heavy investments to deploy smart technologies such as drones and street sensors to augment safety and security of citizens. In 2019, the North America market size stood at USD 971.8 million.

In Asia Pacific, the market is expected to experience robust growth owing to the implementation of smart city projects, increasing focus on national security, and steady expansion of the retail industry. On the other hand, Europe is anticipated to generate lucrative opportunities as the advanced economies of the European Union (EU) are exploring options to develop technologies by blending analytics, energy, and mobility.

Competitive Landscape

Product Enhancement to be the Principal Focus Area for Key Players

Leading companies in this market are concentrating on enhancing their products and services with advanced features and tools to deliver superior performance for their customers. These players are focusing on developing offerings that have a broad range of applicability and can cement their position in the market.

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Industry Developments:

  • November 2020: Axis Communications announced its plans to launch the Axis Object Analytics, its smart video analytics solution that can identify and classify humans and objects as per surveillance need. The product has been designed for application in diverse spaces such as car parks and warehouses.
  • March 2020: Lanner Electronics and Gorilla Technology joined forces to release the next-gen Secure Edge AI solution that combines Gorilla’s real-time video analytics and Lanner’s intelligent edge computing platform. The solution offers AI-optimized video analytics and ensures cyber-security and data safety at the edge.

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Table of Content:

  • Introduction
    • Definition, By Segment
    • Research Methodology/Approach
    • Data Sources
  • Key Takeaways
  • Market Dynamics
    • Macro and Micro Economic Indicators
    • Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities and Trends
    • Impact of COVID-19
      • Short-term Impact
      • Long-term Impact
  • Competition Landscape
    • Business Strategies Adopted by Key Players
    • Consolidated SWOT Analysis of Key Players
    • PESTLE Analysis
    • Porter’s Five Force Analysis
    • Supply chain Analysis 
  • Global Referral Marketing Software Key Players Market Share Insights and Analysis, 2019
  • Key Market Insights and Strategic Recommendations
  • Primary Interviewee’s Key Responses
  • Companies Profiled (Covered for key 10 players only)
    • Overview
      • Key Management
      • Headquarters etc.
    • Offerings/Business Segments
    • Key Details (Key details are subjected to data availability in public domain and/or on paid databases)
      • Employee Size
      • Key Financials
        • Past and Current Revenue
        • Gross Margin
        • Geographical Share
        • Business Segment Share
    • Recent Developments
  • Annexure / Appendix
    • Global Market Size Estimates and Forecasts (Quantitative Data), By Segments, 2016-2027
      • By Deployment (Value)
        • Cloud
        • On-premises
      • By Enterprise Size (Value)
        • Large Enterprise
        • SMEs 
      • By End-user (Value)
        • BFSI
        • Retail
        • E-Commerce
        • Education
        • Hospitality
        • Others (Healthcare, Media & Entertainment, etc.)
      • By Region (Value)
        • North America
        • South America
        • Europe
        • Middle East & Africa
        • Asia Pacific
    • North America Market Size Estimates and Forecasts (Quantitative Data), By Segments, 2016-2027
      • By Deployment (Value)
        • Cloud
        • On-premises
      • By Enterprise Size (Value)
        • Large Enterprise
        • SMEs 
      • By End-user (Value)
        • BFSI
        • Retail
        • E-Commerce
        • Education
        • Hospitality
        • Others (Healthcare, Media & Entertainment, etc.)
      • By Country (Value)
        • United States
          • By End-user
        • Canada
          • By End-user
        • Mexico
          • By End-user

TOC Continued.

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Video Analytics Market Worth $13,001.7 Million at 21.3% CAGR; Industry Giants Such as IBM and Cisco to Ramp up Investments to Develop Advanced Data-driven Video Solutions: Fortune Business Insights™

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Video Analytics Market Worth $13,001.7 Million at 21.3% CAGR; Industry Giants Such as IBM and Cisco to Ramp up Investments to Develop Advanced Data-driven Video Solutions: Fortune Business Insights™

Author: Aalto University
Read more here >>> The European Times News

Ireland on brink: G7 tax plan threatens major exodus of tech giants in Dublin

Rishi Sunak greets G7 finance ministers at Lancaster House

At a meeting in London, the world’s seven most advance economics concluded the agreement that will help start the battle against major corporations avoiding paying tax in countries where they make huge sums. The finance ministers also made a pact in principle to a worldwide minimum corporate tax of 15 percent, which is aimed at ensuring nations don’t undercut one another. Among those most likely to be affected are giants in the tech world, including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple.

The tax proposal has been long in the making and comes just after reports showed that an Irish subsidiary of Microsoft paid zero corporation tax – despite securing $ 315bn (£222bn) profit last year.

The firm was able to do so as it was a resident of Bermuda for tax purposes.

The move has been heralded in many quarters, including by the UK’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who claimed the deal would make the global tax system “fit for the global digital age”.

But prior to the meeting, Ireland admitted it had “significant reservations” about the proposals, which were brought forward by US President Joe Biden.

Ireland on brink: G7 tax plan threatens major exodus of tech giants in Dublin

Ireland on brink: G7 tax plan threatens major exodus of tech giants in Dublin (Image: GETTY)

G7 summit: The finance ministers in London

G7 summit: The finance ministers in London (Image: GETTY)

Their main concern was over the minimum corporate tax rate, as Ireland – which has a tax rate of 12.5 percent – has one of the lowest in the world.

This has allowed firms such as Facebook and Google to make their European operations base in Ireland.

If these go ahead, it is feared in Ireland the likes of US tech firms Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, could ditch Dublin and head elsewhere.

One major concern for some is that these firms, the Telegraph reports, directly account for approximately one in eight jobs in the economy.

JUST IN: UK could pull out of EU’s €100bn research programme

Paschal Donohoe at the G7 summit

Paschal Donohoe at the G7 summit (Image: GETTY)

And Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe admitted Ireland would resist the changes, particularly if they have an impact on the nation’s ability to undercut its rivals.

Speaking in April, Mr Donohoe argued the proposals could see Ireland lose 20 percent of its tax revenues, and added that he would only support an agreement that allowed “appropriate and acceptable tax competition”.

He did admit to having reservations about their being a minimum rate.

Mr Donohoe said Ireland would aim to retain its 12.5 percent tax rate, as he argued that smaller nations must be allowed to use lesser rates to compensate for “advantages of scale”.

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Google's European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland

Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland (Image: GETTY)

He added: “I believe that small countries, and Ireland is one of them, need to be able to use tax policy as a legitimate lever to compensate for the real, material and persistent advantage enjoyed by larger countries.”

After the agreement was confirmed, the tech firms responded – including a spokesperson for Amazon, who said that an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-led process “that creates a multilateral solution will help bring stability to the international tax system”.

They added: “The agreement by the G7 marks a welcome step forward in the effort to achieve this goal.”

Ireland's Paschal Donohoe with Rishi Sunak

Ireland’s Paschal Donohoe with Rishi Sunak (Image: GETTY)

The OECD is an “intergovernmental economic organisations” that has 38 member countries.

Its aim is to promote world trade, and more recently has been behind work on updating global tax rules.

Sir Nick Clegg, vice‑president for global affairs and communications at Facebook, described the pact as a “significant first step towards certainty for businesses and strengthening public confidence in the global tax system”.

A spokesperson for Google said: “We strongly support the work being done to update international tax rules. We hope countries continue to work together to ensure a balanced and durable agreement will be finalised soon.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

San Francisco Giants will be 1st MLB team to wear Pride Month-themed uniforms, caps

San Francisco Giants will be 1st MLB team to wear Pride Month-themed uniforms, caps
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants will support Pride Month on the field and on their uniforms and caps.

On Saturday against the Cubs, the Giants will feature Pride colors in the SF logo on their game caps along with a Pride patch on the right sleeves of their home uniforms – making them the first major league team to do so.

“Very proud that the San Francisco Giants are taking this step. Very proud to be part of it,” manager Gabe Kapler said Tuesday before San Francisco hosted the Los Angeles Angels. “Looking forward to the impact and the support that we can provide for the LGBTQ+ community.”

The 11 colors represented in the new Pride logo are: red (life); orange (healing); yellow (sunlight); green (nature); blue (serenity); purple (spirit); and black and brown for LGBTQ+ people of color. Light blue, pink and white represent those who are transgender.

“We are extremely proud to stand with the LGBTQ+ community as we kick off one of the best annual celebrations in San Francisco by paying honor to the countless achievements and contributions of all those who identify as LGBTQ+ and are allies of the LGBTQ+ community,” Giants President and CEO Larry Baer said in a statement.

Additionally, the Giants will host Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park on June 11-12.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

As Barcelona & Real Madrid try to plug eye-watering financial holes

As Barcelona & Real Madrid try to plug eye-watering financial holes

Barcelona and Real Madrid are still yet to admit defeat and pull out of the failed European Super League. Facing reality that a $ 360 million loan won’t arrive this summer, what’s next for the debt-ridden Liga giants?

Barcelona and Real Madrid have become the unlikeliest of bed fellows in the modern era.

Once bitter rivals with their history mired in Catalan independence struggles, the Spanish civil war and its oppressive victor and dictator, General Franco, they have been united by filthy lucre in the quest to join a European Super League (ESL) that would breakaway from the Champions League and possibly La Liga too.

Behind the windfalls that were projected to them by JP Morgan for the rebel competition, however, are mammoth debts that must be settled.

Also on rt.com From bitter rivals to bedfellows: Barcelona and Real Madrid have been united in greed over failing Super League project

In short, the Spanish giants can’t afford not to take part in the ESL, which perhaps explains why they are only two outfits of the 12 founding fathers still yet to officially pull out.

Remarkably, they also stood to pocket an extra $ 72 million compared to the other parties, as part of the overall $ 4.2 billion loan from the mentioned American financier.

That being said, ESPN reported on Thursday that Barca “have been forced to accept that the competition is unlikely to launch any time soon”.

So what now for these famous outfits who are collectively in close to $ 2.5 billion worth of gross debts?

Barca, who owe more than half of that amount, of which $ 321mn is due on June 30, are in ongoing talks with “investment funds from the United States, Asia and Europe regarding a loan with a favorable repayment plan”.

Also on rt.com Barca ‘optimistic’ over Haaland transfer – but can they really dream of big names amid dire financial straits?

They are also allegedly considering selling the naming rights to their crumbling Camp Nou stadium and selling stakes in Barca Corporate, which includes its Barca academies, the Barca Innovation Hub, Barca Licensing and Merchandising and Barca Studios projects.

But what if these scrambles from Laporta to plug holes in a leaking, sinking ship don’t come off?

It might finally be time to face reality for once and for all.

June 30 is a pivotal date in more ways than one for Ronald Koeman’s men.

That is when Lionel Messi’s contract expires, and he can finally flee on a free after failing to force an exit to Manchester City last summer on the watch of the notorious Josep Bartomeu, who fans have much to thank for regarding their current financial doom.

Laporta remains “convinced” he can persuade the Argentina icon to sign for a further two years with an optional additional season.

But as was suggested by some when Barca struggled earlier this campaign, and news emerged of the full extent of their debt woes, cutting their losses might be sensible long-term, even if it proves fatal to the team’s chances of silverware in the more immediate future.

While Messi is obviously irreplaceable, the same logic can be applied to developments at the Bernabeu – which is currently being rebuilt and is a vital factor in Florentino Perez’s ESL plans.

Although Sergio Ramos is reportedly planning to take a paycut to extend for another two years – as Laporta wants Messi to do – waving goodbye to the Madrid skipper and Luka Modric, who are both 35 and earning $ 30 million a year between them, might not be such a bad idea either.

Eder Militao has stepped up to the plate in the past month – delivering world-class performances against Barca in El Clasico and Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals this week – and midfielders such as Fede Valverde are coming. With Casemiro and Toni Kroos also still having plenty left in the tank, Los Blancos wouldn’t be left undermanned.

Also on rt.com Barcelona ‘preparing 3-year deal’ to entice Messi to stay – but club legend MUST take paycut on $ 90mn salary

Letting Lucas Vazquez walk, saving a further $ 7mn, should be a gimme too. And Madrid daily newspaper As has suggested that $ 303 million – not far off the figure they stood to receive from the ESL – could be raised by offloading seven big stars.

They include Alvaro Odriozola, Isco, Mariano, Marceloa, Luka Jovic, Dani Ceballos and even star defender Raphael Varane.

At the Camp Nou, meanwhile, it might be time to put Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele – to name just three misguided buys paid for with the Neymar-to-PSG money – up for sale alongside a string of other fringe players who have failed to make an impact, including Francisco Trincao and Miralem Pjanic.

Speaking of the Brazilian, Laporta is said to be on a quest to land him and Erling Haaland, while Real Madrid want his PSG teammate, Kylian Mbappe.

Also on rt.com ‘He sounds unhinged’: Real Madrid boss Perez says Super League ISN’T dead in ‘bizarre’ interview suggesting conspiracy killed plan

However, it might be better for both clubs to get their house in order first, having a clear out before entertaining splurges on Galacticos such as the disappointing Eden Hazard, who cost close to $ 200 million.

While securing their targets is said to be key to Laporta convincing Messi he has a competitive team to play with, Neymar’s contract does not expire until  2022. Mbappe’s lapses in the same year, while a special release clause making Haaland available for just $ 90 million will apparently be triggered in the same window.

There is, of course, a risk that not acting swiftly will drive these mercurial talents to head to the likes of Manchester City, stay at PSG or, in Haaland’s case, pick between the two.

Also on rt.com ‘Neymar will play with Messi again’: Agent claims football superstars will realign at Camp Nou as Barcelona ‘prepare Haaland bid’

Yet that is one of the reasons that Barca and Real Madrid are in their current mess.

Put simply, they can’t keep up with the Joneses and the endless supply of petro and gas dollars funneled through by their Gulf overlords. They needed the ESL to try and achieve some sort of parity.

With better organization, recruitment and scouting, though, these two clubs with the kind of histories the Nouveau riche will take decades to build can rise to the top yet again – without the need to entertain poorly received and ill thought-out pet projects.

Keeping the wolves from the door has to take first preference above all.

By Tom Sanderson

Also on rt.com Mbappe puts Real Madrid on red alert by REFUSING to extend PSG contract – reports

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Chinese industrial giants’ profits soar more than 90% in March – report

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Chinese industrial giants’ profits soar more than 90% in March – report

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday that the profits of industrial firms had risen sharply in March from a year ago, as the demand for raw materials surged along with the nation’s economic recovery.

Data showed profits rising to 711.18 billion yuan ($ 109.6 billion) in March, up 92.3% from a year ago, when the economy was hit hard by the Covid crisis. The pace of growth slowed from the first two months of the year, however. Profits soared 179% in January-February, compared with the same period in 2020.

According to Zhu Hong, an official at the NBS, strong profits in the raw materials manufacturing and processing industries – particularly chemicals, metals, and petroleum – helped drive overall industrial profit growth as demand picked up.

For the January-March period, industrial firms’ profits soared 137% from the same period a year earlier to 1.825 trillion yuan ($ 281 billion).

Also on rt.com China’s Wuhan rises from Covid-19 fallout, boosting GDP by nearly 60%

China’s gross domestic product also posted a record growth of 18.3% in the first quarter, driven by stronger demand at home and abroad. The country’s exports rose sharply in March, and imports posted their highest surge in four years last month, with factory activity and factory gate prices rising at faster-than-expected rates.

Meanwhile, industrial output grew more slowly than expected last month, with liabilities at industrial firms up 9.0% year-on-year at the end of March, versus 9.4% growth as of the end of February.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

US retaliation for taxing its tech giants may be as high as $900 MILLION – media

US retaliation for taxing its tech giants may be as high as $900 MILLION – media

Washington is reportedly moving forward with its additional duties for hundreds of billions in imports from six nations in response to digital service taxes targeting the likes of Google and Amazon.

A wide range of goods from the UK, Spain, Italy, Turkey, India and Austria could be hit with 25% tariffs, the US Trade Representative documents show. If the US goes ahead with the punitive measure after public consultations scheduled for May, those tariffs would total around $ 880 million annually, according to Bloomberg.
Also on rt.com US threatens to impose retaliatory 25% tariff on UK exports over ‘discriminatory’ tech firms tax
The sum is thought to be equivalent to what the countries that adopted digital service taxes plan to raise by taxing Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other American internet giants. Given that, the UK, which imposed 2% levies on large tech corporations’ revenues, is set to be hit hardest by the US move with about $ 325 million worth of its exports to the US, ranging from clothing and cosmetics to furniture, being on the line.

The duties for Turkey, Spain and Italy could amount to $ 160 million, $ 155 million and $ 140 million respectively, judging by estimated taxes paid in those countries by US-based companies. Meanwhile, Indian and Austria exporters could lose $ 55 million and $ 45 million respectively due to retaliatory measures from the US.
Also on rt.com US suspends tariffs on French luxury goods over tax on Silicon Valley tech giants
While announcing the move last week, Washington said that it is still in favor of an international consensus that is being discussed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The body has been trying to address the tax challenges of the digital economy for years, but no global deal has been struck so far. Until an agreement is reached, the US said that it “will maintain our options under the Section 301 process, including, if necessary, the imposition of tariffs.”

Tech companies were quick to welcome the renewed US tariff threats. Last week, the Internet Association, which represents leading US internet platforms, including Amazon, Google and eBay, said the move signals that the US is “pushing back on these discriminatory trade barriers,” while the OECD deal is still in progress.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

RT

Corporate giants come out against Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting in Texas

Corporate giants come out against Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting in Texas

Multiple major corporations based in Texas spoke out Thursday in opposition to Republicans’ legislative proposals to further restrict voting in Texas.

Corporate giants American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, and Dell Technologies, headquartered in Round Rock, were among the first to take a position. American Airlines took specific aim at Senate Bill 7, which would impose sweeping restrictions that take particular aim at local efforts meant to make it easier to vote — like extended early voting hours. Senate Republicans advanced that measure in a 2 a.m. vote[1] Thursday.

“Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access. To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it,” the company said in a statement[2].

Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell declared his company’s opposition to House Bill 6, another voting proposal, in a Twitter post.[3] That legislation would prohibit local election officials from proactively sending out applications for mail-in ballots and impose new rules for people assisting voters to fill out their ballots.

The House Elections Committee on Thursday was hearing public testimony on the proposal that was expected to continue into the night.

“Free, fair, equitable access to voting is the foundation of American democracy. Those rights — especially for women, communities of color — have been hard-earned,” Dell said. “Governments should ensure citizens have their voices heard. HB6 does the opposite, and we are opposed to it.”

Both measures are legislative priorities for Texas Republicans, who this year are mounting a broad campaign[4] to scale up the state’s already restrictive voting rules and pull back on local voting initiatives championed in diverse urban centers, namely in Harris County, during a high-turnout election in which Democrats continued to drive up their margins. That push echoes national legislative efforts by Republicans to change voting rules after voters of color helped flip key states to Democratic control.

Also on Thursday, AT&T and Southwest Airlines, both based in Dallas, issued statements that didn’t mention any specific legislation, but expressed broad support for voting rights.

“The right to vote is foundational to our democracy and a right coveted by all. We believe every voter should have a fair opportunity to let their voice be heard,” the statement from Southwest Airlines said.

AT&T’s statement said it would be working with the Business Roundtable “to support efforts to enhance every person’s ability to vote.”

““We understand that election laws are complicated, not our company’s expertise and ultimately the responsibility of elected officials,” the statement said. “But, as a company, we have a responsibility to engage.”

The statements come just a day after Black business leaders called on corporations[5] to publicly oppose Republican-proposed restrictions across the country — a response to new restrictions in Georgia that were recently passed into law with little opposition from major companies.

SB 7 is one of the broadest proposals under consideration during the 2021 Texas legislative session. Beyond prohibiting extended or overnight voting hours meant to accommodate shift workers, it would outlaw drive-thru voting, make it illegal for local election officials to proactively send applications to vote by mail to voters, allow partisan poll watchers to video record some voters who receive assistance to fill out their ballots and set specific rules for the distribution of polling places in the state’s largest counties — most of which are either under Democratic control or favored Democrats in recent national and statewide elections.

The legislation has been offered under the banner of “election integrity,” with state Sen. Bryan Hughes[6], R-Mineola, defending it as a measure that “standardizes and clarifies” voting rules so that “every Texan has a fair and equal opportunity to vote, regardless of where they live in the state.”

“Overall, this bill is designed to address areas throughout the process where bad actors can take advantage, so Texans can feel confident that their elections are fair, honest and open,” Hughes said at the start of the Senate debate on the bill.

In response to American Airlines’ opposition, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick[7] — who deemed SB 7 a legislative priority — released a statement in which he argued[8] the legislation included “comprehensive reforms that will ensure voting in Texas is consistent statewide and secure.”

“Texans are fed up with corporations that don’t share our values trying to dictate public policy,” Patrick said.

But the legislation has been met by fierce opposition from Democrats and a collection of civil rights organizations that have warned its restrictions — and its focus on local initiatives pushed in Harris County — could lead to intimidation and disenfranchisement of voters of color and voters with disabilities. That coalition now includes representatives of corporate America.

“Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder,” the American Airlines statement read.

As the House Elections Committee’s heard public testimony on the bill late Thursday, Microsoft also raised concerns with HB 6’s prohibition on sending vote-by-mail applications to voters who haven’t requested — an initiative taken up by several Texas counties as voters sought to avoid the dangers of in-person voting during a pandemic.

Some counties sent applications to voters 65 and older, who automatically qualify to vote by mail in Texas, while Harris County’s attempted to send applications to all 2.4 million registered voters in the county with specific instructions on how to determine if they were eligible. That effort was ultimately blocked by the state courts, teeing up Republican’s legislative proposals to prevent a repeated attempt through both HB 6 and SB 7.

“Microsoft is headquartered near Seattle in a county and state where our elections are conducted entirely by mail, and where our first-hand experience leads us to believe that voting-by-mail can make voting more convenient and more secure,” the tech giant’s statement read. “For that reason, we would encourage you to explore ways to make the secure use of absentee ballots more accessible for all Texas voters.”

It remains to be seen if the corporate opposition to Republicans’ proposals will match the barrage of outcry during the Texas Legislature’s 2017 debate over a so-called “bathroom bill” to restrict transgender Texans’ access to public facilities.

That year, transgender women, men and children from across Texas descended on the Capitol to testify about how the proposal could endanger their lives. They were joined by a broad faction of businesses — from local enterprises to top corporate executives, including the heads of dozens of Fortune 500 companies — in rallying opposition to the legislation, which failed to pass.

“Major Texas employers are stepping up and speaking out against voter suppression, and for good reason. Texas should not go down the same path as Georgia,” said[9] former House Speaker Joe Straus, the San Antonio Republican who helped bottle up the bathroom bill in the House. “It’s bad for business and, more importantly, it’s bad for our citizens.”

Texas voting rights groups, including Texas Organizing Project, MOVE Texas and theTexas Civil Rights Project, have joined with Black Voters Matter to demand similar stands by corporations against Republicans’ bills, including SB 7, starting with full-page ads in the local newspapers in recent days.

“We are calling for the business community to take a strong stand against current attempts to pass voter suppression legislation that amounts to Jim Crow 2.0,” the groups said in the ads. “It must not be business as usual.”

Disclosure: AT&T, Southwest Airlines Dell and MOVE Texas have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here[10].

References

  1. ^ advanced that measure in a 2 a.m. vote (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ said in a statement (news.aa.com)
  3. ^ a Twitter post. (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Texas Republicans, who this year are mounting a broad campaign (www.texastribune.org)
  5. ^ Black business leaders called on corporations (www.nytimes.com)
  6. ^ Bryan Hughes (www.texastribune.org)
  7. ^ Dan Patrick (www.texastribune.org)
  8. ^ released a statement in which he argued (twitter.com)
  9. ^ said (twitter.com)
  10. ^ list of them here (www.texastribune.org)

Alexa Ura

GOP lawmakers press social media giants for data on impacts on children's mental health

Four Republican lawmakers are pressing social media giants for data on the impact their products have on children’s mental health.

The lawmakers, led by Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersGOP lawmakers press social media giants for data on impacts on children's mental healthCathy McMorris RodgersLawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot House lawmakers fired up for hearing with tech CEOs 1.3B Facebook posts removed between October and December, company says MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] (Wash.), who is the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters[7] to Facebook, Twitter and Google on Tuesday asking for the information by April 16.

The lawmakers asked for internal research or communications the companies have on the impacts of their products on those under the age of 13, as well as those between the ages of 13 and 18. They also asked the companies to identify outside contractors they have worked with or are working with to study the effect of the company on mental health for each age range.

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The lawmakers also asked for data that the companies have regarding the impact of their competitors’ products on the mental health of those aged 18 and under.

The letter to Google[8] also requested data on YouTube and YouTube Kids. The letter to Facebook[9] included data requests on Instagram, which is planning on making a version for those under the age of 13.

The other lawmakers that signed the letters were Reps. Bob Latta[10] (R-Ohio), Gus Bilirakis[11] (R-Fla.), and Morgan GriffithGOP lawmakers press social media giants for data on impacts on children's mental healthHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithLawmakers press federal agencies on scope of SolarWinds attack House Republicans urge Democrats to call hearing with tech CEOs Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor MORE[13][14][15][16][17][12] (R- Va.).

In a statement to The Hill, a Google spokeswoman said “we know parents care deeply about how best to manage their kids’ use of technology. That’s why we build our products with robust child safety product and policy measures baked in from the outset. We also offer parents a range of tools including Family Link, which allows parents to manage screen time on Android devices, and YouTube Kids, which curates family-friendly content with built-in time limits.”

Facebook didn’t directly comment on the letter, but noted that the company supports the CAMRA Act, a bipartisan bill that authorizes the National Institutes of Health to research the impacts of technology on children, teens and adolescents. The company also noted that it is supporting a Digital Wellness Lab at Children’s Hospital in Boston which is aimed at addressing some of the issues the lawmakers brought up.

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A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the company has received the letter and intend to respond. 

The letters come roughly a week after the companies’ CEOs testified before the committee[18] over their platforms’ roles in organizing the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. During the hearing, Republicans laid into the companies over their products’ impact on children.

“Your platforms are my biggest fear as a parent,” McMorris Rodgers said in the hearing. “Remember, our kids, the users, are the product. You — Big Tech — are not advocates for children. You exploit and profit off them.”

[email protected] (Jordan Williams)

‘Can the cage hold them?’ Monster MMA hulks Pudzianowski & Bombardier face off for first time ahead of clash of the giants (VIDEO)

‘Can the cage hold them?’ Monster MMA hulks Pudzianowski & Bombardier face off for first time ahead of clash of the giants (VIDEO)

Superheavyweights Mariusz Pudzianowski and Serigne Ousmane have faced off for the first time before their clash on Polish MMA promotion KSW on Saturday, when the brawling behemoths are expected to weigh more than 600lb combined.

Thrown against one another in a Polish television studio, the pair were respectful and resisted getting in each other’s faces too much before comparing biceps after ‘Bombardier’ Ousmane crossed his arms defiantly.

“Can the cage hold them this Saturday night?” asked the promotion considered by many as one of Europe’s leaders in MMA.

A huge star in his native Poland, Pudzianowski is a former World’s Strongest Man but will have his work cut out against Senagelese grappler Bombardier, who can weigh anything up to 330lbs on fight night and boasts a 2-0 record.

Indeed, at the official weigh-in, Bombardier, also known as B52, tipped the scales at 151.2kgs (333lb), while Pudzianowski was lighter, at 120.2kgs (265lb).

Making his return to action after almost a year-and-a-half, the Pole is looking to improve on his 13-7 career that included back-to-back defeats before he dispatched Erko Jun in the second round in their November 2019 meeting.

Asked about the vast TV audience that is expected to tune in to watch the massively popular Pudzianowski, the less experienced Ousmane said: “I know Mariusz. I have followed his career for a long time.

“He is a Pole, therefore his compatriots know him best. In turn, I am very popular in my country.

“My preparations in Senegal were the same as usual. I followed the same habits as I did before, when I competed in wrestling.

“I will not reveal the advantages and disadvantages of Pudzianowski. However, he is a fighter who I have worked out well.”
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