Risk & Economy » 5 things FDs need to know this week

1. Switzerland rejects BMW’s appeal against £120m fine

Switzerland’s highest court has rejected BMW’s appeal against a157 million Swiss franc fine.The fine was given after the German automotive company banned the export of new cars to Switzerland.

The fine was originally imposed after an investigation in 2012 by Switzerland’s competition authority, after into Swiss customers’ complained they had not been able to buy BMWs and Minis outside the country.

The competition authority said BMW and its dealers had agreed to not export cars to Switzerland in order to keep prices high in the country.

2. BP and Royal Dutch Shell to create blockchain trading platform

A consortium led by the two energy powerhouses and joined by Norway’s Statoil, trading houses Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria, and banks ABN Amro, ING and Societe Generale, has been put together.

The industry hopes to cut down on cumbersome transactions, which will in turn reduce the cost of trading.

The consortium said: “Over time, the new venture intends to lead the migration of all forms of energy transaction data to the blockchain, improving data quality, further strengthening security and increasing the speed of settlements industry-wide, while reducing the cost for industry participants.

3. Total SA to buy Engie SA gas unit

The oil titan, Total SA, is to buy French utility Engie SA’s liquefied-natural gas business for as much as $2 billion.

If the deal goes through, it will make Total SA the second-largest LNG player among Western energy firms

4. Volkswagen investors win right to independent expert in emissions scandal

Investors won a small victory in their battle to force Volkswagen AG to compensate them for share losses suffered in the wake of the German car maker’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal.

A court in Germany has ruled that an independent expert can lead an investigation into whether Volkswagen’s top bosses were involved in the scheme to cheat emissions tests, which was revealed in 2015.

The verdict was given in favour of DSW, the German shareholders’ association. After the scandal broke in 2015, the company hired a US law firm to investigate the matter, but refused to make the findings public, which has been met with scepticism over the independence of the investigation.

5. Uber loses UK appeal bid to overturn workers’ rights decision

 Uber’s case was rejected byt the Employment Appeal Tribunal, in a bid to overturn a decision by a tribunal that said its drivers deserved workers’ rights, such as minimum wage and holiday pay.
The decision will not automatically apply to the company’s 50,000 drivers in Britain, and it is expected that Uber will challenge the decision.

The U.S. ride-hailing app has faced a backlash in recent months, as it battles to keep its license in London after Tfl decided not to renew it.

 

 

 The Silicon Valley firm is valued at around $70 billion (53.20 billion pounds) and  has backers including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.