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A weak market for football rights suggests a lower value for sport

Might Paul’s wages fall? FOR years the cost of rights to broadcast major sports in America and Europe has trended in one direction—up.

Masayoshi Son may raise yet more cash to pump into tech

AT AN investor briefing in 2015, Masayoshi Son, chief executive of SoftBank, flashed up a picture of a goose.

Innovative materials from bamboo are helping a new industry to sprout

A bamboo spider rides high FANNING out from the sodden delta of the Yangtze, and southward to the flanks of the Nanling mountains, over 6m hectares of emerald bamboo groves—one-fifth of the world’s reserves—flourish in China.

Chinese tech companies plan to steal American cloud firms’ thunder

WHICH of the world’s tech giants boasts the fastest-growing computing cloud? Many would guess either Amazon or Google, which operate the world’s largest networks of data centres, but the correct answer is Alibaba.

After a huge loss on old reinsurance contracts, GE contemplates a break-up

Flannery kitchen-sinks it DECISIONS made long ago, and often long since forgotten, can come back to haunt.

Something doesn’t ad up about America’s advertising market

IMAGINE a world in which you are manipulated by intelligent advertisements from dusk until dawn. Your phone and TV screens flash constantly with commercials that know your desires before you imagine them.

The era of the cloud’s total dominance is drawing to a close

CONNECTED devices now regularly double as digital hoovers: equipped with a clutch of sensors, they suck in all kinds of information and send it to their maker for analysis.

Having rescued recorded music, Spotify may upend the industry again

IN JUST a few short years Spotify has evolved from bête noir of some of the world’s most prominent recording artists to perhaps their greatest benefactor.

Companies are moving faster than many governments on carbon pricing

Disney offsets its air miles ECONOMISTS have long argued that the most efficient way to curb global warming is to put a price on the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause it.

Taiwanese bosses are the Chinese-speaking world’s oldest

DESPITE her father’s pleas, Cherry Liu refused to work for the family business, a small electronic-components company founded in 1979 on the outskirts of Taipei.

Spotify opts for an unusual way of going public

FOR seasoned bankers and starry-eyed entrepreneurs alike, doing an IPO, or initial public offering, is synonymous with the very idea of taking a firm public.

Spectre and Meltdown prompt tech industry soul-searching

THE timing could hardly have been worse. Just as the tech industry was preparing for its big annual trade show, CES, held this week in Las Vegas, it was hit by one of the most worrying computer-security scares of recent times.

India’s tea industry is going through tepid times

Tasseography in progress BULK tea sales at the offices of J Thomas in Kolkata, which first started auctioning the stuff in 1861, lack the boisterousness of years past.

Artificial intelligence dominated the Consumer Electronics Show

WHEN the electronics industry meets in Las Vegas at CES, its main trade show, buzzwords abound. But rarely has one been as pervasive as this week.

BlackRock v Blackstone

THE two most successful entrepreneurs on Wall Street of the past two decades work on opposite sides of Park Avenue.

As gyms hit peak season, the market does the splits

EVERY year, like clockwork, swathes of humanity go through the same routine. On December 26th and January 1st, as the fog of cheese, chocolate oranges and champagne lifts, remorse creeps in.

China’s Ant Financial is obliged to abandon an American acquisition

It didn’t mean jack “THE geopolitical environment has changed considerably since…a year ago.” That was the explanation given this week by Alex Holmes, chief executive of MoneyGram International, a Dallas-based American money-transfer firm, for Ant Financial abandoning its $1.2bn deal to buy his firm.

Masterful salesmanship has pushed Salesforce to ever-greater heights

Benioff’s guide to upselling VISIBLE from nearly every corner of San Francisco and from up to 30 miles away, the new skyscraper that will be the headquarters of Salesforce, a software giant, stands 1,100 feet (326 metres) tall, making it the highest building in America west of Chicago.

South Korea’s antitrust tsar has a good shot at taming the chaebol

AS KIM SANG-JO was preparing last May to make the switch from snappy shareholder activist to a regulatory role as South Korea’s fair-trade commissioner, he had a simple message for the country’s big conglomerates: “Please do not break the law.” Not one to make bosses quake in their brogues, exactly.

Canada frets about anonymously owned firms

WHEN reports surfaced in 2016 of foreign students with no known income buying homes worth millions of dollars in Vancouver, locals said it was yet more evidence that foreigners were inflating prices in Canada’s dearest property market.