Employees Offered Buyouts by AMC Networks

Things are not going very well lately for AMC Networks or the people who own stock in the company. This is because the stock has dropped a hefty 20 percent so far in 2016. This is not a surprise to many people familiar with the TV industry. A huge chunk of AMC’s profits the past six years has come from the massive ad revenue that their hit show “The Walking Dead” has been able to generate. The zombie series is still averaging an excellent 13.2 million viewers for every episode. The problem is that this number is down significantly from when the show was at its peak. In fact, ratings are down eight percent from 2015. That is a tremendous amount of advertising dollars that AMC is no longer taking in.

This has caused AMC Networks to look for ways to save money. A total of 200 people who work for the company were offered buyouts that were voluntary. A spokesman for the company said that they believe 20 to 30 of those people will accept the buyouts that were offered to them. The company wants to avoid the drastic measure of laying off employees because of the bad public perception of their financial stability that it will create. Low viewership of the freshman series “Preacher” is another reason for the poor revenue so far this year. AMC was banking on the show being a hit and a cornerstone of their lineup. However, the viewers have not shown up as they had hoped.

EU Imposes $3.2 Billion Fine on Truck Makers

As reported by The Huffington Post, the EU has imposed major fines of a record $3.2 billion on four truck makers for their illegal participation in a cartel. The truck makers were found guilty of conspiring to fix prices and working together to delay the introduction of new emissions technologies for vehicles in 1997. The EU antitrust regulators also found that the truck makers inappropriately passed on the cost of the new emission technologies to consumers. Before this most recent fine, the largest prior fine ordered by the European Competition Commissioner was for 1.4 billion euros against a TV and computer monitor tubes price-fixing cartel.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager spoke to the press about the imposition of the fine and the commission’s finding on the lack of competition between the largest truck makers in the industry. She said that MAN, Volvo, Daimler and Paccar should all be competing against each other to enhance environmental performance. The companies agreed to a settlement in which they admitted their wrongdoing in exchange for a 10 percent reduction in the total penalties. The largest fine was levied on Daimlier at 1.01 billion euros. MAN, which is owned by Volkswagen, avoided a fine because it reported the cartel to the commission.

The Euro VI standards aim to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides and require substantial investment by truck makers in eco-friendly technologies, including exhaust treatment filters. The first iteration of the European pollution standards were released in 1993 and require all vehicles to comply.

Google Spending Large Sums to Woo Europe

As reported in a recent article for The New York Times, Google has spent around $450 million on projects in Europe as a part of its soft lobbying efforts to improve its image. Google has been struggling with the public perception of it in Europe as an American company that has barged in and refuses to play by the same set of rules as everyone else.

Google has been accused of breaking antitrust regulations, failing to pay taxes and not protecting online privacy rights. While Google has publicly rejected all of these claims, it has been working hard to improve the overall company image. Google has been lobbying especially hard in Brussels and has also spent large sums on direct lobbying. This is because Brussels is the site of many of its regulatory problems in recent years. In 2014 alone, Google spent about $4.2 million on political lobbying efforts in Brussels. During the same time, Google spent about $17 million on direct lobbying in D.C. It remains to be seen whether these expenditures will have any effect on whether Google will face charges.

Some of the initiatives that Google has recently funded in Europe include music concerts sponsored by YouTube, digital training courses for high school teachers in Ireland and a virtual reality exhibit at a museum in Belgium. European governments have been more than happy to receive the fruits of Google’s soft lobbying efforts because there have been plenty of funding gaps thanks to the sluggish economy of late.

Keith Mann: A Revered Executive Search Professional And Philanthropist

Keith Mann is revered New York entrepreneur. He is the managing director and co-founder of Dynamic Search Partners. The firm focuses on alternative investments in addition to hedge funds. Dynamic Search Partners is a major provider of executive search services along with alternative staffing needs. It offers its services to the largest equity firms.

Dynamic Search Partners has made critical strides since it was created in 2001. It has expanded operations from the initial service of staffing investment positions. Presently, the firm is well known as a leading database for investment executives. Keith Mann established Dynamic Search Partners after realizing that the hedge fund industry was expanding rapidly and the search community was not serving it effectively. Currently, Keith Mann helps his clients in hiring investment, internal strategy, and marketing professionals.

Keith Mann, the owner of Dynamic Search Partners started working with Dynamic Associates. He was appointed as the head of the Alternative Investment Division. Following his excellent work as the manager of the division, he was promoted by the firm. As a result, he advanced in his career within Dynamic Associates. He held a number of posts prior to becoming the vice president of the firm.

He is an experienced professional in the executive search industry. That is because he has been working in the industry for a period of more than 15 years. He is a specialist in hiring strategy, hedge fund compensation, and staffing. Keith Mann offers these services to companies in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Every year, he fills over 200 client mandates.

In philanthropy, Keith Mann supports several causes including education and the police force. He is a partner with the Uncommon Schools found in New York. The partnership is objective is to enable students learn critical skills to help them attain success in their lives. Additionally, Keith Mann has also raised funds for sponsoring student testing. He also runs a professional achievement scholarship award, an honor that recognizes a new generation of leaders at the charter school. Following protests as well as violence that surrounded the police, Keith Mann and his wife made a kind gesture of thanks. They sent lunch to the 54th Street precinct. The lunch was meant to boost morale.

Pokémon Go: Far More Popular Than Anticipated

If you can bare putting your phone down and refraining from playing Pokémon Go for a brief minute, you will find out just how successful this game really is, and what it has done for Nintendo as a company. Sure, you see everyone else playing; you even hear the news stories about people getting injured in their definition of the line of duty, but when you actually learn the numbers and green this game has generated, you might find the game to be more popular than you initially anticipated.

Last Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Nintendo was worth money–that is no secret. In less than a week, though, the company has skyrocketed into further stardom, and is worth over $9 billion and counting! Since the release of Pokémon Go, Nintendo stocks have risen over 40%, with 25% being in one day alone. Clearly, the numbers speak volumes of not only the game’s reputability, but the profound gratitude and happiness expressed by the game’s creators.

Of course, Pokémon originated well before the mobile application and smart phone era, but creators have disclosed that they were well prepared for this fairly advanced time. Long have they envisioned the establishment of this game, but few words could have ever prepared them to witness such abundant numbers, positive feedback, and the overall fact that they are making a fairly dark time illuminate with their creation of an outlet for millions. As the creators prepare to launch the game in Japan on July 20, 2016, numbers are expected to nearly triple.

Starbucks to Serve Trenta-Sized Wages This October

A company without morale is like a peanut butter sandwich without the peanut butter– it is virtually nothing. Of course, the most effective way to boost morale within a company is to please the employees where it matters the most: Their wages. Company officials of Starbucks promise to increase wages over five percent this upcoming fall 2016, and this is the direct result of a petition highlighting the declining morale that received over 12,000 signatures.

However, mention must be made that not every Starbucks in the United States will be experiencing this increase, but only those who work for company-owned stores will reap these benefits. Of course, company-owned stores balance out to approximately sixty percent of total US stores, so that is still a fairly profound change coming to the economy soon. “The range of increase will be determined by geographic and market factors,” stated CEO, Howard Schultz, in a letter discussing the upcoming change.

The announcement of these changes was heavily celebrated across the country, and people exclaimed that this means far more than a decent paycheck, but is the opportunity for a greater life for millions of employees and their families. This pay increase will not only boost morale and, eventually, customer satisfaction as a result, but will increase the company’s retention rate–ultimately making the decision one that will be the start of a very positive, prosperous future for the already booming corporation.

Laidlaw and Relmada, the Great Conflict

The American Revolution is happening again. Relmada Inc. has filed a complaint in US Federal Court against UK bank Laidlaw & Company for being deceptive in their financial practices. Formerly, Laidlaw was Relmada’s primary investment banker. Laidlaw and Relmada had a dispute, and Laidlaw then decided to buy out Relmada, a pharmaceutical products company.

Relmada did not really like that, and so began a conflict that is causing a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. The CEOs of Laidlaw & Company, Matthew Eitner and James Ahern, are being targeted for purported deceptive practices in their decision to buy out Relmada. Relmada complains that Laidlaw is acting unlawfully by using their superior financial firepower to crush them. Relmada is trying to develop a new product, BuTab, so the lawsuit is partly to protect the interest of Relmada’s stockholders.

Former employees of Laidlaw note that the bank is very hard on its employees. Often, Laidlaw employees at the entry level have to spend 12 hours on the phone managing different customer calls.

The Chief Executive of Relmada greeted the news of the successful lawsuit gladly. “We are pleased that the Court recognized the merits of our request and issued this order.”

The US Federal Court is issuing a restraining order against the CEOs of Laidlaw because of their bad behavior.


Are Americans Ditching Netflix, and What Does It Mean for the Company?

A well-known name does not necessarily mean that the success behind it still exists; Netflix is currently proof of that. Chances are, you have a Netflix account, but this is part of their current problem–their sales are slowing down, and the general boom of the business has declined drastically.

During a three-month period in 2015, the company was able to retain prior customers while welcoming 900,000 new subscribers as well. However, as more people are sharing their passwords, signing up for premium options that allow a certain account to occupy multiple screens at the same time, and as families are simply cutting frivolous expenses out of their budgets, the company was only able to gain 160,000 American subscribers during the same period this year. Surely a drastic decrease that just might be foreshadowing a detrimental spiral for the once bustling business.

Analysts at the company predicted at least 700,000 new, American subscribers during the timeframe, so clearly this was quite the ominous blow. Though Netflix currently has 83 million subscribers and their expansion to a more global audience still proves promising for the company as a whole, recent numbers must not be ignored nor chalked up to a simple loss. In an official statement, a spokesperson disclosed that the decline is derivative of the misconception that prices were going to increase, so they do expect the decline to continue into the next quarter, though they are certain it will soon cease.

Lawsuits Claim VW CEO Knew of Fraud

Three U.S. states filed civil lawsuits against Volkswagen on Tuesday, accusing the German automaker of violating environmental laws. In separate but virtually identical suits, New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts leveled claims of fraud that extended to the very top of the company’s boardroom.

The accusations fly in the face of statements VW made last year. According to Martin Winterkorn, the former chairman of the board of directors, equipping 11 million vehicles with software to cheat emissions tests were grave errors made by just a handful of employees. He added that top executives were oblivious to the deception.

But the three attorney generals driving the lawsuits claim that many executives were aware of the orchestrated fraud. In one specific instance, the complaint suggests that chief executive officer Matthias Müller knew the company decided not to equip Audi vehicles with equipment required to meet clean-air standards in the U.S. as far back as 2006.

The complaint says the systematic scheme to cheat emissions tests was a cost-saving measure. Through the use of six different devices, the world’s second largest automaker was able to avoid overhauling vehicles sold in the U.S.

The scandal, known as “Dieselgate”, has already cost VW billions of dollars. Last month, the automaker settled claims with U.S. owners and regulators by agreeing to pay $14.7 billion. However, that resolution does not prevent individual states from seeking penalties.

The company is already holding discussions to design a settlement that would resolve its environmental issues across the U.S.

Yahoo Adds Tumblr As Sale Draws Closer

Tumblr Added to Yahoo as a Sale Gets Closer

Yahoo may soon find itself no longer operating as an independent company.

Even though the company may not be an independent public company for a lot longer, that didn’t stop the website from releasing the results of their second quarter earnings. Most people watching the industry assumed that their results would be down for the quarter, proving that Yahoo was going into decline more and more. As of this year, Yahoo has earned a total revenue of $1.31 billion, up from $1.08 billion the year before.

With all of this in mind, the career of CEO Marissa Mayer is not as important as figuring out what Yahoo’s core business sale process is looking like, though many reports are implying that Yahoo is narrowing down its final bids from companies such as Verizon. Verizon is actually supposed to be the frontrunner for companies taking over Yahoo, after buying out AOL much earlier on. Verizon has also bought several other private equity firms from other billionaire backed groups, including ones run by Dan Gilbert and Warren Buffett.

When asked about Yahoo, Mayer herself stated that the company is making progress for the 2016 year and has meet expectations for the second quarter with the help of strong disciplined management. She also added that the board has also made a lot of progress in finding strategic alternatives in addition to putting in the extra effort to improve the overall quality of the operating business.