- From Paris’ Left Bank, tiny Qwant tried to take on Google.
A rival to Google is making moves from its base in France. Jean-Manuel Rozan is the man behind the new search engine, Qwant, that has been gaining traction in technology circles as it is starting to offer something that Google does not: privacy. Qwant works on a different business model to Google in that it is hoping to make money from sales related to its searches. The main attraction to it though is that in a world where Google records almost everything that a person does on the internet, Qwant will not. This has been extremely popular with those who are averse to big data collection, particularly as Google seems to be moving into a new area of a person’s online presence every day. With privacy an issue, reviews of Qwant in respected papers such as the FT will only help the startup to grow. At present, Qwant is performing around 10 million searches per day compared to Google’s 3.5 billion, meaning it is still a way off being a serious rival.
- Slim to break up America Movil empire.
Carlos Slim, the world’s second richest man is set to break up his Mexican media empire. With increased regulation on media ownership about to pass through the Mexican parliament, Slim has been forced to sell of some of his business in order to meet new requirements. America Movil has warned however that it would not be selling cheap, and that it would only be looking for offers for parts of the business that reflected market rates.
- Citi to pay $7bn to resolve US probe.
Banking giant Citigroup looks set to settle its problems with the US Department of Justice, with the fine agreed being far greater than expectations. Analysts had originally expected Citi to pay around $1.5bn, later revised to $4bn, but now it is thought to be closer to $7bn. Talks had broken down between Citi and the Department of Justice at one staged, but it appears now that the damages have been agreed. Citi is being punished over the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed securities after a long-running US government investigation.
- Brazil shell-shocked by team’s World Cup horror show
World Cup hosts Brazil suffered one of the most shocking results in football history last night as they went out of the tournament at the semi-final stage. Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany, who gave the samba nation a footballing lesson. Last night’s game was expected to have the biggest television audience in Brazilian history, although the vast majority of those viewers must now being wishing that they hadn’t bothered. Controversies before the tournament about excessive spending and government wastage had been paused whilst the national team continued through the stages, although it is likely that tension will surface once again. It has already been reported that 20 buses had been set alight at a depot in Sao Paulo.
- Man Utd owner Malcolm Glazer dies.
The owner of Manchester United, Malcolm Glazer has died. Glazer took over the biggest football club in the UK in 2006 in a debt leveraged buyout that was hugely controversial. Manchester United had previously been listed on the London Stock Exchange as a plc. Glazer and his family faced huge public backlash from Manchester United supports, including the famous green and gold campaign where supporters wore United’s original colours. The phrase “Love United, Hate Glazer” was prominent at Old Trafford, although his period of ownership has arguably been one of the most successful in the clubs history. Glazer, who was 86 at the time of his death, had already suffered a stroke a few years back. He leaves the club to his children, two of whom, Joel and Avram were already co-chairmen.