Aegon makes more cuts to UK business

first_img KCS-content whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofTortilla Mango Cups: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof whatsapp Tags: NULL DUTCH insurer Aegon will close two more operations in the UK and cut jobs to improve profitability in its fourth-largest market.Aegon, which warned in June it planned to cut 25 per cent of its British costs in the coming year, said it will close its third-party pension administration and employee benefits software businesses.The divisions currently employ 89 people in London and Cheshire, but the firm said it would not decide on job cuts until it had consulted with trade unions. A spokesperson for the company could not say how much the closures would save the company, but said that before today’s announcement the firm had made £22m savings out of a £80m target before the end of 2011. Aegon earlier this month announced a reorganisation of its British sales division, which will cost 106 jobs. The firm said in yesterday’s statement that more senior roles face the chop in its surviving UK business, which includes life insurance and protection operations and Guardian Financial Services.Aegon is one of the top life insurers in the United States, where it owns Transamerica. Aegon makes more cuts to UK business Tuesday 28 September 2010 10:31 pm Share last_img read more

Tanga Cement Company Plc ( 2018 Annual Report

first_imgTanga Cement Company Plc ( listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange under the Building & Associated sector has released it’s 2018 annual report.For more information about Tanga Cement Company Plc ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Tanga Cement Company Plc ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Tanga Cement Company Plc (  2018 annual report.Company ProfileTanga Cement Company Plc manufactures, distributes and sells cement and clinker products to the building, construction, roadworks and mining segment in Tanzania. The company produces Portland limestone cement with limestone extenders used for structural and non-structural cast constructions; reinforced concrete for civil and industrial works; and fillings, coatings, screeds and mortars as well as concrete for mining infrastructure and shafts. The company markets its cement products under the Simba Cement Brand. Tanga Cement Company is a subsidiary of AfriSam (Mauritius) Investment Holdings Limited; with production facilities in the city of Tanga in Pongwe and its head office in Dar es Salaam. Tanga Cement Company Plc is listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Neil Woodford completely ditched this FTSE 100 stock, but I’d happily buy it today!

first_img Image source: Getty Images. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Cliffdarcy owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Enter Your Email Addresscenter_img Cliff D’Arcy | Sunday, 14th June, 2020 | More on: GSK See all posts by Cliff D’Arcy Since the FTSE 100 index plunged below 5,000 on 23 March, share prices have largely only gone upwards. Since late March, the FTSE 100 rose near-relentlessly, climbing almost every week. By 7 June, the index had soared 30% above its 2020 low.The FTSE 100’s worst week since MarchBut the week just gone was the worst for almost three months, leaving complacent investors reeling. A four-day losing streak from Monday, snapped by a 0.5% recovery on Friday, saw the FTSE 100 dive 5.8% in the week. The FTSE 250 index fell even further, down 6.4%.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…We should forgive Mr Market for having a minor meltdown. On Thursday, when the FTSE 100 dived 4%, we discovered that the UK economy had shrunk 20.4% in locked-down April. Blimey!This FTSE 100 winner is immune to coronavirusClearly, we need to get Covid-19 under control, so British workers can rebuild our shattered economy. But the recovery’s shape and speed will determine how quickly corporate earnings recover to support higher share prices.Meanwhile, some solid companies have proved completely immune to the coronavirus. One of these fortress FTSE 100 firms is ‘big pharma’ player GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK).Neil Woodford ditched GSK, then blew up his fundsI’m a cheerleader for GSK, because I’ve been an admirer of this British powerhouse since I was a teenager. I’ve owned this FTSE 100 share for most of the past 30 years. Also, two family members have clocked up 50+ years between them working at GSK.Former star fund manager Neil Woodford was once a big fan and major shareholder of GSK too. The FTSE 100 star was a core holding of Woodford’s once-successful income funds. Then Woodford sold his entire GSK holding (worth £1.2bn) in May 2017. Since then, his eponymous funds have spectacularly crashed to earth. Oops.GSK is changing dramaticallyGSK is actually three global businesses in one: researching, developing and manufacturing pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer-healthcare products. After a major reshuffle, GSK is now ranked at #4 in the FTSE 100. At 1,599p a share, its market value is £80.2bn.As a mega-cap company, GSK is all big numbers. It employs 100,000 people worldwide and dates back to 1715. The FTSE 100 firm is a huge spender on research and development, boosting investment to £4.3bn in 2019 alone.In 2019, its sales hit £33bn and pre-tax profit leapt to £6.2bn, up 29% from £4.8bn in 2018. In April, GSK revealed first-quarter sales up 19% year-on-year.A decent dividend and future growth?Many investors regard GSK as a safe, boring FTSE 100 share paying a high dividend (currently yielding 5%). The shares trade on a price-to-earnings ratio of under 15 and the 80p yearly dividend is covered 1.34 times by earnings. Solid and safe, but dull.In 2020, GSK shares bottomed at 1,328p (16 March) and peaked at 1,587p (24 January). Despite Covid-19, the shares are up 1% over 12 months. But what if GSK becomes a more exciting growth share, as in its go-go years?Today, it has 37 new medicines and 15 new vaccines in development. Furthermore, ViiV Healthcare (GSK’s HIV/AIDS joint venture) has Cabotegravir. This HIV-prevention injection is so efficacious that clinical trials were stopped three years early. Astonishing.In short, combining a low rating and high dividend yield with potential growth, GSK shares are my #1 FTSE 100 stock for patient investors. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Neil Woodford completely ditched this FTSE 100 stock, but I’d happily buy it today! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.last_img read more

Add this one to the list of the craziest rugby bloopers you’ve ever seen

first_imgWednesday Jan 31, 2018 Add this one to the list of the craziest rugby bloopers you’ve ever seen This 7s match took place between Lithuania and Croatia in summer last year, and just minutes in, it provided us with one of the worst (best?) rugby bloopers we’ve seen in a long time. It was so bad, we had to get out the orchestra for the edit. The ridiculous blooper featured big Lithuanian winger Domantas Baguzis, who appeared to have secured a well taken try after a nice counter-attack from 80 meters out. As we have seen on numerous occassions though, whether it was time wasting, showboating or just not realising that danger lurked, he was well and truly shown up by the determined tackle. While all credit should go to the Croatian tackler that chased back to ruin the party, 25-year-old Baguzis is actually the one that told us about what happened. So he clearly doesn’t mind the ribbing, of which it would have been significant, after this howler of a mistake!See more crazy butchered tries from recent times in our Related Posts below thisADVERTISEMENT Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error See it to Believe it Related Articles 25 WEEKS AGO WATCH: Experts explain what actually happens… 26 WEEKS AGO WATCH: Leigh Halfpenny makes yet another… 26 WEEKS AGO Parisse alley-oop magic sets up brilliant… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsGranny Stuns Doctors by Removing Her Wrinkles with This Inexpensive TipSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living30+ Everyday Items With A Secret Hidden PurposeNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Warning to Trump: Bash Mexico, incite revolution

first_imgTeresa GutierrezIn Donald Trump’s first week as president, a shitstorm of U.S. international diplomatic relations hit the fan. One crisis was with the U.S. neighbor to the south: Mexico.On Day Six, Trump signed the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements. This authorized hiring an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents, immediately constructing or contracting for more “detention facilities” at the Mexican border, empowering state and local police to function as immigration enforcement, and other repressive measures.And, to fulfill his campaign promise to “build the wall,” Trump used the Executive Order to instruct the Department of Homeland Security to commence immediate construction of a 1,900-mile-long wall along the border with Mexico, using existing federal funds. At the signing Trump said, for what sounded like the millionth time, that he would get Mexico to “pay for the wall,” a cornerstone pledge of his campaign.But the Executive Order was issued at the very same time that a delegation representing the Mexican government was in Washington to prepare for a state visit from Mexico’s president. The signing of the Executive Order before the two-nation meeting insulted Mexico and threw those preparations into chaos.The pressure was on for the Mexican government to defend the nation’s sovereignty and make it look as if Mexico was not a puppet of U.S. imperialism. Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto declared he would not be coming to the U.S. after all and reiterated forcefully that Mexico would not pay for “the wall.”Trump — ever the man-child — lied that he and Peña Nieto had decided together to cancel the meeting, and boasted that as long as Mexico did not respect or treat the U.S. fairly, there would be no meeting.With these actions, Trump earned the ire not only of the people and government of Mexico, Mexican migrants and all those opposed to his anti-immigrant posturing, but even of the ruling class, which is probably worried now about Trump’s actions.Mexico is a Third World country despite its many riches. It is a capitalist country whose sell-out government is beholden to the U.S.Trump said he would cancel the meeting until Mexico treated the U.S “fairly.” But the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. is not a fair or equal one to begin with — one is an oppressed nation and the other is the vile oppressor.The many multinational corporations that operate in Mexico do not want their profits jeopardized by Trump. There are 11 U.S. banks that do business in Mexico. They have a combined $96 billion in cross-border claims. Citigroup alone has a $65 billion investment. (CNBC, Jan. 26)Walmart, Apple, GE, JP Morgan, General Motors are just some of the multinationals that operate in Mexico. These corporations want to continue to do business with Mexico unfettered, to steal Mexico’s wealth and continue to exploit Mexican workers.This is one reason why Trump is a danger to the ruling class. He may serve their interests in some ways, but ultimately the business of capitalism must continue to run smoothly.Economic crisis: fuel for revolutionary fires in MexicoTrump’s tirades have thrown fuel on the fires in Mexico. He announced that he will make it hard for Mexicans living in the U.S. to send remittances home, which can potentially create an even more critical economic crisis in that country.By saying that he wants to punish Mexico by raising tariffs to pay for the wall, he challenges Mexico to assert independence from the gringos. He insults Mexico and jeopardizes the Mexican president’s relationship with the people, stirring up anti-Yankee sentiments that can easily turn into mass rebellions against the Mexican government.Mexico is ripe for revolutionary change. The Mexican government could be toppled at any moment were it not for the billions the U.S. sends under the guise of fighting drugs. Plan Merida, for example, is actually used to train the police and military for repression against progressive and revolutionary movements.Peña Nieto is at risk of being thrown out, and rightly should be. The cause could be rising fuel costs or the case of the Ayotzinapa 43 or boiling anger from decades of repression and exploitation, supported by U.S. imperialism. Anything could fuel the fire of revolutionary insurrection in Mexico — something the imperialists will do everything in their power to prevent.Whether it is political or economic, the U.S. works to bail out the Mexican bourgeoisie. Yahoo Finance wrote on Jan. 29: ”Whatever happens in Mexico ends up having an impact here. In 1982 and 1995, the U.S. came to Mexico’s rescue, spending tens of billions of dollars to prevent [it] from falling into the abyss.”Solidarity, not wallsDuring the campaign, Trump’s fan base cheered every time he said he would get Mexico to pay for the wall. The fact is that if the wall is built and further militarized, the people of the U.S. will be billed for it.Trump says he will raise tariffs on the many goods from Mexico that come into the U.S. to pay for the wall. That means higher prices for U.S. consumers on items from toothpaste to TVs. For instance, Procter & Gamble has several manufacturing plants in Mexico. In 2011 P&G spent $250 million to build another factory to make Gillette razors and razor blades. Mexican workers play a role in producing HDTVs, so a tariff could easily raise their cost. (Washington Post, Jan. 27)Since President Bill Clinton and every administration after that, the U.S. southern border has become extremely militarized, at a high budgetary and human cost. Parts of a wall have already been built to the detriment of nature, as well as the rights of Indigenous people and the deaths of migrants.Trump supporters need to know that walls will not bring back economic prosperity or jobs. Economic security for U.S. workers will not come from an alliance with capitalists who reap the profits of workers’ labor. Only global solidarity among workers, who produce all the wealth of the world, will bring good jobs at union-level wages.As even Frances Coppola, a columnist for Forbes magazine, writes: “If all the good jobs have gone across the border, how come so many Mexicans have come to the U.S. to work?” (Jan. 29)Who does welcome the wall? One is none other than racist settler-colonizer Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, who tweeted: “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. … Great success. Great idea.” Mexico’s Jewish population, estimated to be around 50,000, immediately responded with outrage to that statement.This kind of outrage is also fueling the massive protests now sweeping the U.S., protests in solidarity with Muslim migrants in particular, who have been so demonized.These militant actions, long overdue, are the real solution to Trump’s Mexico bashing and anti-immigrant racism.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Chirac asked to use Ethiopian leader’s visit to press for release of two Oromo journalists

first_img Follow the news on Ethiopia Ethiopia arbitrarily suspends New York Times reporter’s accreditation EthiopiaAfrica RSF_en RSF condemns NYT reporter’s unprecedented expulsion from Ethiopia to go further May 18, 2021 Find out more News Help by sharing this information EthiopiaAfrica Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders has asked French President Jacques Chirac to take advantage of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s official visit to France on 14-15 April to press for the release of two Oromo journalists, Shiferraw Insermu and Dhabassa Wakjira, who have been detained without justification for more than a year in Addis Ababa.Voicing concern about their fate as Ethiopia enters a period of elections, the press freedom organization said in an 8 April letter : “In our view, France cannot afford to ignore the Oromo issue in its talks with Ethiopia and the case of these two journalists, forgotten in their prison cells for the past year, is a glaring and scandalous illustration of this.”The letter added: “Free, fair and peaceful elections will not be able to take place in Ethiopia as long as the case of Shiferraw Insermu and Dhabassa Wakjira has not been resolved in accordance with the law and the principles of justice and humanity.”Shiferraw Insermu and Dhabassa Wakjira worked for the Oromo-language service of the state-owned Ethiopian Television (ETV). They were initially arrested at home in Addis Ababa on 22 April 2004. The federal high court ordered their release on bail on 9 August but only Shiferraw Insermu was freed. He was re-arrested in October and again in January, since when he has remained in prison. Dhabassa Wakjira has been held without a break all this time, and the prison authorities have ignored various court release orders.A former colleague now living in exile said Shiferraw Insermu and Dhabassa Wakjira were detained along with other Oromo employees of ETV who have since been released. Their arrests followed the broadcasting of a report about the violent dispersal of Oromo student demonstrators on the Addis Ababa university campus on 4 January in which many were arrested, especially members of the Macha Tulama social assistance group who were protesting against the government’s decision to move Oromo regional bodies from Addis Ababa (called Finfinne by the Oromos) to Adama (also known as Nazret), 100 km east of the capital.According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders in Addis Ababa, the two journalists are being held separately, in different prisons in the capital, and are receiving regular visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). News News May 21, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders has asked French President to take advantage of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s official visit to France on 14-15 April to press for the release of two Oromo journalists, Shiferraw Insermu and Dhabassa Wakjira, who have been detained without justification for more than a year in Addis Ababa. News April 13, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Chirac asked to use Ethiopian leader’s visit to press for release of two Oromo journalists Organisation Journalist attacked, threatened in her Addis Ababa home February 10, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

A sexy Alexa, Dan Levy’s M&M habit: Super Bowl ads to watch

first_img Twitter WhatsApp Previous articleCanadian judge denies bail for fashion mogul Peter NygardNext articleThe Latest: Spain: 1st case of Brazilian variant in Madrid Digital AIM Web Support Pinterest Local NewsBusinessUS News Pinterest By Digital AIM Web Support – February 5, 2021 Twitter Facebook WhatsApp TAGS  Facebook A sexy Alexa, Dan Levy’s M&M habit: Super Bowl ads to watchlast_img read more

G8 summit coming to Co Fermanagh next year

first_img WhatsApp Pinterest The British Prime Minister says he couldn’t think of a better place than Co. Fermanagh to stage the G8 Summit next year.Earlier he confirmed that leaders from some of the world’s biggest economies will attend the event at the Lough Erne golf resort in 2013, as it is the UK’s turn to host.The North’s First Minister Peter Robinson has welcomed the announcement.Prominent world leaders including Angela Merkela and US President Barrack Obama – as well as their advisors and a media pack – will now begin planning their trip.It’s prompted speculation that President Obama will be approached to make a second Southern visit either before or after the summit.David Cameron explains why he chose Fermanagh as the venue:[podcast][/podcast] News Google+ Facebook Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published By News Highland – November 20, 2012 LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Google+ Twitter Facebookcenter_img G8 summit coming to Co Fermanagh next year Twitter Previous articleAlcorn’s ratification deferred as new Udaras board is announcedNext articleMinister McGinley says Udaras decision regarding Cllr Alcorn is on hold News Highland RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Pinterest Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margeylast_img read more

Can Trial Courts Impose Restrictions On Social Media Use As A Bail Condition? SC To Examine

first_imgTop StoriesCan Trial Courts Impose Restrictions On Social Media Use As A Bail Condition? SC To Examine Radhika Roy10 July 2020 4:03 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court issued notice in a plea regarding whether restrictions could be imposed on usage of social media by a trial court as a condition for grant of bail. A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R. Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna heard the matter filed by Congress leader Sachin Chaudhary, and issued notice to the Central Government and the State of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court issued notice in a plea regarding whether restrictions could be imposed on usage of social media by a trial court as a condition for grant of bail.  A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R. Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna heard the matter filed by Congress leader Sachin Chaudhary, and issued notice to the Central Government and the State of Uttar Pradesh. The plea, filed by Advocate-on-Record Keshav Ranjan, stems from the Allahabad High Court Order of Justice Siddharth which had granted bail to Chaudhary on the condition that he would not use social media while being enlarged on bail till the conclusion of the trial. “The applicant shall not use social media till the conclusion of the trial”. Chaudhary, who had been arrested by the Police as per Case Crime No. 0198 of 2020 under Sections 188, 269, 270, 271, 124A, 505, 153A, 153B of the Indian Penal Code as well as Sections 66A, 67 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, and Section 56 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, had been granted bail on 20th May by the Allahabad High Court in wake of the “larger mandate of the Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the dictum of the Apex Court in the case of Dataram Singh v. State of UP & Anr (2018)”. Amongst various other conditions such as sincere cooperation in trial and non-indulgence in criminal activity after being released on bail, one of them was the restriction on usage of social media. This was consequently challenged by Chaudhary before the Supreme Court. The plea contends that “Sharing views and express opinions on social media platform falls under the right of freedom of speech and expression. Liberty of a person is one of the oldest concepts to be protected by national courts. No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty by the Constitution of India.” It further underlines the importance of social media for connecting with relatives or friends, or for sharing and discussing information. “Curtailing this right is not only a deprivation of his personal right and his liberty, but is certainly affecting the life and career of the Petitioner socially and politically. Social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter have become important venues for users to exercise their right of freedom of speech and expression protected under Article 19 of the Constitution of India”. Today, Chief Justice Bobde observed that the condition did not seem to be too “onerous”. “We don’t think it’s too onerous if a person’s participation on social media creates mischief. Why can’t the Court say you don’t use the instrument by which you caused mischief?” Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing on behalf of the Petitioner, submitted to the Bench that there was no allegation against Chaudhary with respect to social media usage. To this, CJI Bobde responded that the Court would like to lay down a law on this aspect. The Court further stated that they would consider the question of law on whether a trial court, while granting bail, could restrict a person from using social media, when the crime committed has nothing to do with social media access. On the basis of the above, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and the State of UP. Click Here To Download Petition[Read Petition] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Amazon v. Amway: Managing Conflicts and a Case for Balancing Safeguards (Part 3)

first_imgColumnsAmazon v. Amway: Managing Conflicts and a Case for Balancing Safeguards (Part 3) Eashan Ghosh & Afzal B. Khan10 Aug 2020 7:28 PMShare This – xIn Part 1 of this essay, we offered a background to the January 2020 Delhi High Court ruling in the Amway cases and discussed the issue of consent of direct selling entities to subsequent third party sales of their products. In Part 2, we evaluated whether and under what conditions direct selling entities can oppose commercial dealing of their products by third party sellers under the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn Part 1 of this essay, we offered a background to the January 2020 Delhi High Court ruling in the Amway cases and discussed the issue of consent of direct selling entities to subsequent third party sales of their products. In Part 2, we evaluated whether and under what conditions direct selling entities can oppose commercial dealing of their products by third party sellers under the Trade Marks Act. In Part 3, we consider the third principal finding from Amway: on whether and to what degree e-commerce platforms can be held liable for violation of direct seller rights. We evaluate the loose ends of this finding, in the context of a promising blueprint for such cases recently advanced in Europe. We conclude with a case for balancing consumer protection safeguards with the requirements of the direct selling and e-commerce industries. §8 The Intermediaries Question The Amway Courts thus split down the middle both on the applicability of the Direct Selling Guidelines and the sustainability of the Plaintiffs’ case for trade mark infringement. This left one question to resolve: what would be the fate of the e-commerce platforms as Defendants? The functions and services offered by the Defendants to second sellers on their platforms meant that the answer lay within the walls of intermediary liability under Sections 2(1)(w) and 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Remarkably, here too, the opinion of the Amway Courts was divided. The Single Judge returned factual findings on a host of the Defendants’ activities. These included the use of the Plaintiffs’ trade marks in their advertising, promotion, sale offers, and meta-tags, aside from offering warehousing, transport and other logistical facilities to execute second sales.[1] To be exempt from liability, ruled the Single Judge, two factors were key: one, that the e-commerce platform must merely be providing access to a communication system,[2] and two, the platform must demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the infringing activity.[3] In sum, the Single Judge urged that a passive intermediary may claim Section 79 protection but an active intermediary would not.[4] The Single Judge ruled against the Defendants on both points. The intermediary inquiry was reduced to an arresting bottom line: there was no way for the end-consumer or the first seller to ensure that the products being sold on the e-commerce platform were genuine,[5] or that they were being sold under conditions that would preserve their value and reputation.[6] The Division Bench, on appeal, approached the issue from the opposite end. It set forward the view that, as a general matter, Section 79 is a safe harbour for e-commerce platforms.[7] To hold otherwise would, in its view, fasten the platform with “liability for non-compliance and/or violation of law by a seller.”[8] In doing so, it rejected out of hand the distinction between passive and active intermediaries as it was not recognized by statute. [9] To be clear, this is a stance with some merit. It does not, however, engage with the substance of the finding of the Single Judge that the conduct of the e-commerce platforms here had overshot Section 79 protection. Indeed, this conclusion by the Single Judge finds some support in a prominent European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision in L’Oréal v. eBay International.[10] Here, the ECJ had ruled, consistent with a robust European approach discussed at §9 infra, that safety from intermediary liability for e-commerce platforms is influenced by whether the operator plays an active role allowing it to have knowledge or control of the data stored. Instead, the Division Bench opted, yet again, to take the sting out of the lower court ruling by holding that the question of whether the e-commerce platforms qualified as intermediaries is factual and requires trial.[11] In sharp contrast to the hesitation of the Division Bench on intermediary liability, the approach of Indian consumer courts has been decisive. Indeed, some recent decisions reveal an aggressive willingness to fasten liability upon a variety of e-commerce service providers, including portals for travel bookings and trade in movable products.[12] This suggests a remarkable divergence between the approaches of trade mark courts and consumer courts on issues that could, as we have seen at §6 supra, easily arise from the same transaction. It is therefore a divergence that Indian courts must act quickly to resolve. §9 A European Blueprint? An instructive way of doing so may well have been recently uncovered by the ECJ. Coty Germany v. Amazon Services Europe,[13] decided on 02 April 2020, asks a pointed question. If an e-commerce platform, on behalf of a third party, stores and stocks products in order for the third party to put them on the market, and those products infringe trade mark rights without its knowledge, would the platform be liable for infringement? This is a query so specific that it answers to nearly all the constraints of the Amway facts. As such, the Coty ruling invites interest from an Indian standpoint. The decision rests on two key findings. First, it makes a decisive and conceptually sound distinction between affirmative acts of infringing use by an e-commerce platform and the offering of services by such a platform which enable or create the technical conditions necessary for such use by another party.[14] We may recall here that the Amway Single Judge verdict identified and isolated potentially infringing acts by e-commerce platforms but struggled to shoehorn these acts into conceptual categories of intermediary liability. Conversely, the Amway Division Bench ruling gave a wide berth to the process of isolating potentially infringing acts but was perhaps too eager to offer e-commerce platforms the benefit of safe harbour. The Coty decision, unburdened by the constraints of Section 79, instantly fills a gap between the two Amway rulings. It offers a conceptual sieve through which to pass Amway-like facts, without being slanted to either a pro-liability or anti-liability position on e-commerce platforms as intermediaries. Second, the Coty decision offers a more general, ingredient-based test for intermediary liability with particular promise from a consumer protection standpoint. It holds that, if the third party alone intends to put the infringing products on the market, then any contributory acts such as stocking and storage made by the platform without awareness of infringement will not invite liability. Refashioned in consumer protection terms, two key ingredients thus emerge from Coty: pursuing the aim of putting the product on the market (as distinct from merely performing contributory acts) and awareness of the infringement, wrongfulness or deficiency of the product itself.[15] These are touchstones so ripe for assimilation into Indian consumer protection law that they could hardly have been better designed for the purpose. They are specific enough to separate the seller from the service provider while also being flexible enough for adaptation to address consumer complaints. It is in these fruitful directions that the role and liability of e-commerce platforms, especially in direct selling cases, should be explored. §10 Conclusion The Amway Division Bench decision may not offer clear-cut answers, but it does offer direction. For instance, though the application of the Direct Selling Guidelines was scuppered on facts in Amway, its application in future cases is surely a fait accompli. Similarly, it would be naïve to suggest that the Amway outcome will succeed in keeping the architectures of trade mark infringement and intermediary liability from abutting into future litigation. It is critical, therefore, to attempt a balance between competing interests in the direct selling and e-commerce industries. From the standpoint of direct selling entities and their networks, the Direct Selling Guidelines show a clear path forward. As we highlighted in Part 1, they recognize that the relationship between direct selling entities and the rest of the marketplace has to be quid pro quo. The synergy built into the Guidelines is that the direct selling entities’ interest in ensuring that authentic products and services reach consumers with no loss of quality is naturally aligned with consumers’ interest in achieving the same outcome. The apprehensions have to do with the insertion of third party sellers who are unauthorized at best and counterfeiters at worst.[16] However, here again, the impetus lies very much with direct selling entities themselves, to proactively stamp out objectionable sellers. The prospects of consumers in an unregulated market of this nature, as we saw in Part 1, are considerably more secure owing to the incorporation of the product liability clauses under the 2019 Consumer Protection Act. The perspective of e-commerce platforms to this balancing act will understandably skew towards narrowing the scope of their liability as service providers. It is here, of course, that the Coty learnings assume greatest relevance. It is worth endorsing the adoption of a gateway ‘pursuit of aims’ test to save e-commerce platforms that merely intend to facilitate, to run alongside a heftier standard of awareness of infringement or product deficiency. These are, as we have already noted, primed for absorption into Indian law. However, there is another aspect of the role of e-commerce platforms viz., that of the relationship with consumers. It is evident that the customers of e-commerce platforms, in the form of product sellers as well as buyers, lie at both ends of the online marketplace. While product liability safeguards now secure consumers against sellers of all descriptions, the scope for error or deception between e-commerce platforms and consumers (as buyers) remains considerably more open. There are, of course, ongoing efforts to bridge this gap, but it remains a gap to be wary of. This is especially so since the avenues for consumers to raise consumer complaints against e-commerce platforms remain remarkably (and justifiably) open. The role of third party sellers – or second sellers, as the case may be – is perhaps the simplest to resolve. Unfortunately, this owes much to their de-prioritization in the face of more formalized competing interests by manufacturers and brand owners. Nevertheless, there is no gainsaying that their presence is of essence to a free marketplace. This is not just in principled terms but also, as we observed in Part 2, because of the range of genuine benefits they can offer consumers, whether in substitution of formal sales networks or as a complement to them. On the other hand, the conceptual room afforded to them, perhaps out of necessity, remains constricted. Even so, as Part 2 showed, Section 30(3)(b) read with the Wadhwa conditions under Section 30(4) are certainly secure enough for such third party sellers to run a fair and honest trade. That they have additionally been burdened with heavier obligations under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is undoubtedly harsh, but its objective of securing better consumer protection is one that such sellers can hardly take issue with. This leaves us, finally, to consider how these disparate legal sub-systems can be moulded into co-operation. One possibility, as we mooted above, is simply to use a provision or case ruling from one regime to fill a gap in another. Another possibility, often offered up in Indian law, could be to treat these sub-systems in silos and resolve conflicts only when no harmonious reading is possible. However, these possibilities do a disservice to the simple diagnosis we flagged at the start: that the point of inflection and agreement of all these sub-systems is their willingness, in the first instance, to protect the interests of consumers. So long as this objective is realized and given effect, even a wide variance in approach between individual cases may well be permissible. The Amway rulings have certainly offered a live demonstration of this approach in action. That this approach must, by sheer weight of circumstance, be cross-disciplinary is now certain. We hope that the need for the approach to balance between the competing interests of the actors in the marketplace has, through this essay, become equally clear. *** Eashan Ghosh is a practitioner and consultant specializing in Indian intellectual property law. He is the author of Imperfect Recollections: The Indian Supreme Court on Trade Mark Law, and writes about Indian intellectual property law at: Afzal B. Khan is an advocate practicing in intellectual property law and commercial disputes before the Delhi High Court. [1] The Court (at ¶279, 289-290) was unconvinced that these activities were, as the Defendants contended, merely value added services, or that they were unaware of instances of product tampering. [2] Under Section 79(2)(b) of the Information Technology Act, an intermediary cannot be involved in initiating the transmission, selecting the receiver of the transmission or modifying the information transmitted. These conditions were faithfully recanted by the Amway Single Judge here, at ¶294. [3] See Note 1, at ¶265 and 303, distinguishing Milo & Gabby v. Amazon Case No. 2016-1290 (Fed Cir, 2017), on the liability of e-commerce entities as sellers of the goods. [4] Much of the ground work for this finding had been laid by the same judge in 2018 in Christian Louboutin v. Nakul Bajaj 2018 (76) PTC 508 (Del). [5] See Note 1, at ¶266, distinguishing Matrix Essential v. Emporium Drug Mart 756 F. Supp. 280 (W.D. La, 1991) and Matrix Essentials v. Emporium Drug Mart 988 F2d 587 (5th Cir, 1993). [6] See Note 1, at ¶274, relying on Copad v. Christian Dior [2009] ECR I-3421, at ¶24-26. See also Parfums Christian Dior v. Evora [1997] ECR I‑6013, at ¶42. [7] There are, of course, reservations with setting this out as a general position. Not least of them is that the requirement that the intermediary must not play an active role allowing it to have knowledge or control of the data/information at issue is well-recognized today. See Article 14 of the European Directive 2000/31/EC on Electronic Commerce, and L’Oréal v. eBay International [2009] RPC 21. See also Shreya Singhal v. Union of India (2015) 5 SCC 1 and Google India v. Visakha Industries AIR 2020 SC 350. [8] This begat a technical distinction: that the Plaintiffs had failed to show that their rights had been violated by the e-commerce platforms, rather than by the sellers. In light of this failure, said the Division Bench (at ¶142, 144), there was no occasion to consider the “affirmative defence” of the e-commerce platforms under Section 79. This distinction was also informed by another position taken by the Division Bench elsewhere (at ¶107). It had held that, once the title in the products passed from the Plaintiffs to their direct sellers under the contractual terms between them, no further condition could be imposed, per Section 19 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930. This, in effect, rendered Clause 7(6) of the Direct Selling Guidelines unenforceable against the direct sellers. Further, even if these contractual terms were to be taken strictly, there could be no action against the e-commerce platforms themselves owing to a lack of privity of contract. See also Case C‑230/16 Coty Germany v. Parfümerie Akzente ECLI:EU:C:2017:941, at ¶15, 25, setting out the European equivalent of this legal position. [9] However, this conclusion was bunched together with the difficulty that the Division Bench simply took the e-commerce platforms at their word that their value-added activities did not trigger Section 79 obligations. [10] [2011] ECR I-6011. [11] There is some confusion over what this means in administrative terms. It is possible to read this in one of two ways: either that the question of whether e-commerce platforms are intermediaries is a factual one or that the finding of the Single Judge that e-commerce platforms are not, in fact, intermediaries necessitates a trial. Leaving aside the prudence of deferring the question to trial, it is imperative that the intermediary discussion should be as broad-based as possible. It should, at a minimum, assess whether the e-commerce platform had knowledge of third party trade mark infringement or product tampering, was encouraging or facilitating such acts, or stood to profit from such acts in any way. It should also ideally consider second-degree effects such as whether the platform had a role in modifying, optimising or selecting the presentation of products – through internet search words, advertisements, offers for sale, and the like – that would create a false impression among consumers of economic linkage between the trade mark proprietor and a third-party seller. Finally, it should also consider the degree to which these acts are attributable to sellers and consumers, who are both customers of the platform rather than the platform itself. [12] See, illustratively, Hello Travel v. HC Jain Rev Pet No. 45/2020 (NCDRC, 27 February 2020), per Singh J, and India v. Urmil Munjal (2013) II CPJ 522 (NC), confirmed in India v. Urmil Munjal SLP (Civ) Nos. 26744-26745/2013 (Supreme Court of India, 28 April 2014), per Prasad and Ghose JJ. However, see also Narain v. LG Electronics India Case No. 270/2010 (SCDRC Delhi, 21 May 2015), per Yadav J, which found that an e-commerce platform was not a necessary party to a consumer complaint rooted on defective product quality. [13] Case C‑567/18, ECLI:EU:C:2020:267. [14] See Coty, at ¶37, relying on L’Oréal, supra note 67, at ¶103, and Google France v. Louis Vuitton [2010] ECR I-2417. [15] This Court (at ¶49, 53) does leave open the applicability of other regulations to assess the role of an economic operator, where it has enabled another operator to make use of the trade mark. [16] The gains made by the Indian counterfeiting market in recent years are nothing to be sneezed at. A 2012 estimate placed losses to Indian industry due to counterfeiting activities at approximately US$ 13.3 billion and losses to the exchequer to the tune of US$ 4.7 billion, across seven key product segments. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, “Intellectual Property Toolkit for Police Officials”, , ¶1.2, at p. 8. Next Storylast_img read more