Last Month Today: October in review

The US tech giants are going to have to pay a major new tax on their UK sales. Nokia to cut “thousands” of jobs. EU approves a ban on single-use plastics. And other top news from the month of October.

The world’s most valuable startup is a company you’ve probably never heard of

Bytedance (parent of music video app TikTok) jumped ahead of Uber by $3 billion to take the rank as the most valuable startup. Bytedance recently closed a $3 billion funding round, headed by Japan’s SoftBank group, to reach a reported $75 billion valuation. This number can be seen as especially impressive after remembering that last year Bytedance was valued at the comparatively low number of around $20 billion.

U.K. to impose world’s first ‘digital’ tax on Google, Facebook and other tech firms

Selling digital services might soon come with a tax in the U.K. — if the company has global revenues of at least £500 million ($640 million), that is. Google and Facebook are two of the most obvious companies who would be impacted by this tax, which wouldn’t take place until 2020, and comes after the European Commission called (frequently) for large tech companies to pay a 3% tax. The U.S. isn’t happy about this development and has come out against the tax.

Nokia to cut thousands of jobs amid 5G Transformation

Expect changes at Nokia as the company removes “thousands” of jobs by the end of 2020 as part of a cost-cutting program. CEO Rajeev Suri says this plan will generate annual cost savings of €700 million by the time it’s done. Nokia posted a 27% slump in third-quarter operating profit compared with late 2017, but shares remain up 17% year-to-date.

U.S. economy grew at annual rate of 3.5 percent in 2018’s third quarter

Despite a dip from the second quarter’s 4.2 percent rate, the U.S.economy posted its best back-to-back quarters in four years and stays in reach of the Trump administration’s 3 percent annual growth target. And in Europe, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2 percent in the euro area (EA19) during 2018’s third quarter, compared with the second quarter.

European Parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics

After an overwhelming vote in favor of reducing plastic usage, the EU is banning certain single-use plastic products in hopes of decreasing ocean pollution. The proposal moved forward on a vote of 571 to 53, will completely ban plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers, and balloon sticks. The EU plans to have the ban in action by 2021.



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