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Antitrust cases over past behaviour have proved mostly ineffectual. So regulators are turning their attention to forward-looking rules ANY DAY now America’s Department of Justice (DoJ) will file a lawsuit against Google, accusing it of abusing its monopoly in online search. It will be the first big antitrust case in technology since the DoJ went after Microsoft in 1998. Expect William Barr, the attorney-general, to flaunt this as proof the Trump administration is uncowed by big tech. Political posturing notwithstanding, the lawsuit will be no Google-slayer. Few states are likely to join the case. The firm’s broader advertising business will probably not be targeted. If the Microsoft trial is a guide, the ordeal will drag on for years and be distracting for Google. But it is likely to end in a forgettable settlement—even under a President Joe Biden. Potentially more consequential tech regulation is on the boil elsewhere, however. Many policymakers see antitrust suits filed after the fact (“ex post”) unfit for purpose in fast-moving tech markets. They are pushing for “ex ante” rules that would, as in other industries, constrain online platforms upfront. On
WHEN BARTLEBY reflects on life’s lessons, he always remembers his grandfather’s last words: “A truck!” Bartleby’s uncle also suffered an early demise, falling into a vat of polish at the furniture factory. It was a terrible end but a lovely finish. Whether you find such stories amusing will depend on taste and whether you have heard them before. But a sense of humour is, by and large, a useful thing to have in life. A study of undergraduates found that those with a strong sense of humour experienced less stress and anxiety than those without it. Humour can be a particular source of comfort at work, where sometimes it can be the only healthy reaction to setbacks or irrational commands from the boss. Classic examples can be found in both the British and American versions of the TV sitcom “The Office”, where workers have to deal with eccentric, egotistical managers, played respectively by Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell. The comedy stems, in part, from the way that the office hierarchy requires the employees to put up with the appalling behaviour of the manager. And those programmes also illustrate the double-edged nature of workplace humour. When the bosses try to
Tesco’s pre-tax profit jumps to £551 million in the fiscal H1.
The British grocer names Imran Nawaz as its new CFO.
Tesco declares 3.20 pence per share of interim dividend.
Tesco plc (LON: TSCO) said on Wednesday that its pre-tax profit in the first six months of the current financial year came in higher on the back of an increase in revenue. The company also named Imran Nawaz as its new CFO scheduled to take on the role from April 2021. Nawaz has previously served Tate & Lyle in a similar capacity.
Tesco opened close to 5% up on Wednesday but gave up half of the intraday gain in the next hours. Including the price action, shares of the company are now trading at 218 pence per share versus a higher 256 per share at the start of 2020. Tesco printed a year to date low of 210 pence per share last week.
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Tesco values its COVID-19-related costs at £553 million
In the six months that concluded on 29th August, the largest British grocer reported £551 million of pre-tax profit on Wednesday. In comparison, its pre-tax profit was capped at a lower £428 million in the same period last year.
Tesco valued its costs related to the Coronavirus pandemic at £553 million in the fiscal first half. The COVID-19 crisis has so far infected more than 500 thousand people in the United Kingdom and caused over 42 thousand deaths.
In terms of revenue, the general merchandise retailer posted £28.72 billion in H1 versus the year-ago figure of £28.51 billion. In its report published in June, Tesco had revealed an 8.7% increase in its first-quarter underlying sales.
Tesco declared 3.20 pence per share of interim dividend
Tesco’s board decided in favour of a 3.20 pence of interim dividend per share on Wednesday. In H1 of fiscal 2020, Tesco had declared a lower 2.65 pence of per-share dividend. Tesco said in the last week of August that it will hire 16 thousand new permanent workers as online demand continued to rise amidst the ongoing health crisis.
Earlier this year in April, Tesco pulled out of its business in Asia, and said that the consequent proceedings will be used to pay a special dividend. On Wednesday, it confirmed that a special dividend worth £5.0 billion will be returned to its shareholders.
Tesco performed fairly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of about 30%. At the time of writing, the Welwyn Garden City-based company is valued at £21.44 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 22.93.