Company news in brief

11 July 2018 | Business

Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights to Eritrea

Ethiopia’s state-owned airlines will resume flights to Eritrea’s capital Asmara next week, a state-affiliated news agency reported on Monday, hours after the neighbours and longtime foes declared their “state of war” over.

Fana television reported the news on its Twitter feed.

The restoration of diplomatic ties and trade links was agreed on Monday after a historic day in Asmara of talks between the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The nations went to war in 1998 and cut ties then, but last month Ethiopia’s new reformist prime minister offered an olive branch to Eritrea, kicking off a rapid rapprochement that has stunned the region and delighted many citizens in both states.

-Nampa/Reuters

McKinsey's new boss apologises

McKinsey’s new global head will on Monday apologise to South Africans for work the firm did with friends of scandal-plagued former president Jacob Zuma, an ill-fated deal that tarnished the reputation of the world’s biggest consultancy.

McKinsey has lost most of its clients in South Africa since it emerged last year it had partnered with local consultancy Trillian in order to win a 1.6 billion rand (US$120 million) contract with state power utility Eskom in 2016.

Trillian was then controlled by the Guptas, three brothers who are under investigation over accusations that they used their friendship with Zuma to fraudulently win government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

-Nampa/Reuters

SoftBank tightens grip on Yahoo Japan

SoftBank Group is increasing its stake in Yahoo Japan through a US$2 billion, three-way deal with US firm Altaba to deepen ties with the internet heavyweight ahead of an IPO of its telecoms unit.

Under the deal, SoftBank will buy 221 billion yen (US$2 billion) of Yahoo Japan shares from Altaba, formerly internet giant Yahoo Inc. Yahoo Japan will then buy back 220 billion of stock from SoftBank.

As a result of the transaction SoftBank’s stake in Yahoo Japan will rise to 48.17% from 42.95% with just a US$9 million net investment. Altaba, Yahoo Japan’s second largest shareholder, will have about 27% and end a joint venture partnership.

-Nampa/Reuters

House Republicans query Apple, Alphabet on privacy, data practices

Four senior US House Republicans sent letters on Monday to the chief executives of Apple Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc asking questions about location data and mobile phone privacy practices and the handling of customer data.

The chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Greg Walden, along with three other senior Republicans on the panel, wrote the companies “to probe the companies’ representation of third-party access to consumer data, and the collection and use of audio recording data as well as location information via iPhone and Android devices.”

-Nampa/Reuters

Uber joins scooter wars with Lime investment

Uber made a move into electric scooters Monday, as the ride-service giant agreed to a strategic partnership with Lime, one of the major players in the fast-growing segment.

Lime announced the new US$335 million (about R4.5billion) investment to be led by GV - formerly Google Ventures - with additional funding from Google parent Alphabet and others including Uber.

Uber will make "a sizable investment," according to Lime co-founder and chief executive Toby Sun, and will enter into a partnership allowing users to rent scooters directly from the Uber app.

-Fin24

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