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This is Business Live from
BBC News with Sally Bundock
and Ben Thompson.
Can Luxury firms control who sells
their goods online?
That's the question that
could get an answer today
in a case that could change how
we all shop in the future.
Live from London, that's our top
story on Wednesday, 6th December.
The luxury of buying high end
goods on Amazon and Ebay
could be about to end.
We have the latest on what could be
a landmark ruling in the European
Also in the programme,
The price of entering
the chinese tech market,
we have a special report
on the lengths silicon
valley is going to, to get
behind the great firewall.
For financial markets. It is a sea
of red. We'll explain why.
And if you can't leave
home due to illness,
how about sending a robot to school
or work instead?
We'll get the inside track
from a Norwegian start-up that's
using robots to help children take
part in school lessons,
even if they can't leave the house.
And one in five Brits have
admitted they never work
to the best of their ability.
Are you one of them or do you see
those people in the office
and it drives you mad?
Let us know.
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Let's name and shame the lazy ones
in the workplace.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
Should luxury brands be
able to stop retailers
from selling their products
on online marketplaces
such as Amazon and Ebay?
That's the question at the heart
of a decision being made
by Europe's top court today.
It's a battle that's been ongoing
for a decade and could have wide
for internet shopping.
So the test case was initially
bought in Germany by Coty,
the multi-billion dollar US beauty
company whose luxury brands
include Marc Jacobs,
Calvin Klein, Rimmel and Chloe.
Coty argues it should
have the right to choose
who sells its products and how.
That would allow the firm
to protect its image and exclusivity
as part of the global personal
luxury goods market
that is worth some $295 billion.
However a German retailer called
Parfumerie Akzente argues it has
the right to sell Coty's goods
on sites including Amazon and Ebay
and the restrictions violate
EU competition rules.
62% of German retailers use
online marketplaces -
more than any other EU country
and many argue that offers consumers
more choice and lower prices.
Alan Davis the head of Competition,
EU & Trade at Pinsent Masons.
Alan nice to see you. Welcome to
Business Live. Sally has run through
the details there. It strikes me
this is something that all retailers
do. They take brands and they sell
them on. Why is this so significant?
This is significant because luxury
brand owners have made huge
investments in developing the brand
image, the prestige of their luxury
products and they want to be able to
protect that. They are concerned
about retailers being able to free
ride on that investment by selling
goods in an environment or on a site
that does not portray the same sort
of prestige and brand image.
that must open up a wider market for
them to more can yous ustomers who
are able to access it. They are able
to sell to more customers, are they
Well, that is that argument and
if you look at the statistics for
online selling on platforms in
Germany, but by and large, the
prestige of the product is so
important to them that they want to
be able to protect that.
also about the cost that they have
put into marketing that brand? They
have made it unique. They have made
it niche. They have made it
exclusive. So is it about that they
want a return on the money they have
Exact lip. Ly. It enables
them to ensure the price level for
the products is maintained in the
market. Online selling generally
results in lower prices for
consumers because there is a
downward spiral if products are
being sold and there is competition
at that level of the market, but by
able to restrict how the products
are sold enables them to control the
price at which the products are sold
in the market.
You might say a cynic
would suggest controlling the price
means they can keep the price
higher. You might get it cheaper on
eBay or Amazon, but they say we want
to keep the price high?
the prices are not sufficient, kept
sufficiently high, they won't be
able to justify making the
investments and consumers will not
benefit from the range and quality
of those prestige products in the
A brief word on what we
expect today. Which way are you
expecting it to fall?
came out in July which favoured the
luxury brand owners and the court
will normally follow the opinion of
the advocate general, but we really
Normally. We will wait
and see. Alan, thank you for
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
The United States has
imposed a range of tariffs
on some steel products that
are imported from Vietnam.
The Commerce Department says
many of them originate in China
and are trying to circumvent
existing duties tackling dumping
and state subsidies.
The new tariffs range
from 39% to 265%.
Australia's economy grew
by 0.6% in the three months
from June to September -
that's an annualised rate of 2.8%.
It was driven by higher business
investment and government spending
on infrastructure projects.
The world's 12th largest economy
is trying to diversify away
The world's 12th largest economy
is trying to diversify away
from its dependence on mining and -
like many countries - faces
the problem of weak wage growth.
German firms will reconsider
their trade links to the UK
if there is no clarity on a Brexit
deal by March, the country's
business lobby has warned.
The head of the powerful BDI group,
told the BBC there was "a certain
urgency" for companies that do
business in Britain and recently
asked its members to prepare
for a "very hard Brexit".
One of China's most prominent
businessmen has told the BBC that
foreign firms must play
by the country's controversial rules
and regulations on the internet
if they want to compete
in the world's biggest market place.
Jack Ma - the head of the online
retail giant Alibaba -
and he was speaking
at an annual gathering
of government and corporate
leaders which is often over
shadowed by the country's
tough censorship laws.
From the conference
in Woo-jen our correspondent
Robin Brant sent this report.
Robin Brant sent this report.
Every year China invites the world
to this serene water town
to talk about the internet.
Its vision of the internet and that
includes openness this year.
China is staying open to face...
But there is less talk about China's
widespread censorship online.
The strict controls on access,
the great firewall that this man
is partly responsible for
that keeps Twitter,
Google and others out.
It's no big secret. There wasn't
much openness though from one
of the ministers in charge
of the internet.
These are names familiar to many
online here in China
and they're coming to a mobile
or a tablet near you.
But China doesn't just to sell
you stuff, it's ramping up it's
investment in how the web works.
big data, cloud computing.
The big idea at this
conference is openness.
China open to the world,
apparently, and in return,
the world, of course, open to China.
But there is a very sinister
side to China online.
China's internet controllers went
into overdrive this year to help
this man, the president, Apple
agreed to remove dozens of apps that
allow free access to the web.
Whatsapp was blocked. Pictures of
were not allowed. None of that
deterred big names from coming to
the conference. Facebook is banned
from China. When is Facebook coming
to China legally?
will you be coming to China legally?
Will you be sensoring your comment
much openness from their man.
This man is a star in China. He
made billions. He is the best known
He has a very direct message for the
foreign firms who want in.
China's president promised this
conference he will open the doors
wider and wider. He knows some
foreign firms don't like his vision
of the internet, but they will
accept it and join in.
Let's look at markets in Asia today.
Now, don't be fooled by the big
numbers in red over there because
the Nikkei closed down 1.97% lower.
It was their biggest percentage fall
since March for the Nikkei. The
closing number is correct. We have
got a funny quirk with the
percentage numbers there, but you
can see across-the-board in Asia,
Hong Kong lower. Australia, South
Korea, they were having a torrid
session following on from a bad
night the night before on Wall
Street. If we look at Europe, it is
a similar story. Let's look at
Europe right now. So we can get a
sense of how we are doing in London,
Paris and Germany. We are seeing
declines across-the-board. A lot is
to do with people locking in profits
right now as we come towards the end
of the year with many issues going
on in the world of geopolitics which
are causing nervousness. North
Korea, the US President and what he
might say today about Jerusalem and
Israel. We have got Brexit and the
stalemate, the lack of breakthrough,
all on the minds of investors. Let's
look ahead to what's happening on
Wall Street later.
Samira Hussain has the details about
what's ahead on Wall Street Today.
The employment report is coming out
Compared with a gain of 235,000 jobs
in the previous month. The report
could give us clues on what we can
expect on Friday when the Labour
department releases the latest jobs
report. Broadcom will be reporting
later this week. Finally, also
reporting is discount store
Dollarama, they are likely to have
boosted prophets. Investors will be
eager to hear about forecasts for
the rest of the year and how the
company will drive sales to counter
competition from online sales.
Joining us is Jane Sydenham,
at Rathbones Investment Management.
What are you watching this week?
Well, we are looking ahead to see
what is going to happen next year.
As you just said, you know, it's
very much a case of investors
looking forward. It has been a good
year overall and I think to some
extent the retreat in Asia is that
worry about is China's growth going
to continue at a reasonable rate,
high levels of debt, are they going
to have to re-position and slow
down. As you rightly say, we are
worried about politics. But it's
also, you know, rising rates in the
US as well. I think there is a lot
of strategy talk going on. We are
starting to talk to all of the
businesses that we deal with and
they are all beginning to think
ahead. So, I think there is a lot of
profit taking and re-positioning.
All the markets are coming from a
very high level as well. 1.97% fall
for the Nikkei today is not much
compared to its rise in the last
sort of year. Could there be some
things triggering another flurry of
buying like US tax reform being
actually nailed down that kind of
I think that's right. That's
been anticipated, but there is quite
a lot of doubt because you know,
Donald Trump has sort of got there
and then had to pull back and
re-think. So there is no certainty
until it actually happens. If it
does pass, yes, markets will be
happy. But there has been a lot of
good news. So and some stocks are
really over rated. They are really
too highly priced. The gap between
the most expensive and the cheapest
is the widest it has been for 35
years. That's a spectrum. So there
is a lot of re-positioning going on.
All right. Jane, thank you very much
Jane is not one of the lazy
Why are you looking at
I'm saying Jane is not one of
those because she has to do some
more work for us later.
We are asking if people you work
with don't work to the best of their
Still to come, we hear
about the robots allowing children
to feel part of the classroom
experience when they are too
ill to go to school.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
If you are ever faced
with a decision
of whether you should take a job
at Google, consider yourself one
of the privileged few.
The tech giant has been named
the best company to work
for across Europe and North America.
Joining us now is Mark Di-Toro.
He's with Glassdoor, the job site
which conducted the survey.
Nice to see you Mark. I am not
surprised to hear what you found
Yes, first and fore most we are
here to help everyone find a company
in a company that they love. That's
why we do the awards. Google for the
first time after two years of
Expedia being number one, Google
have usurped them and taken the top
spot, but followed by Anglian Water
and Bromford a social housing
company in Wolverhampton.
Google, followed by Anglian Water,
what were you asking?
To be on these
awards, Best places to work, there
is no panel, people do not pay, this
is purely given by reviews and
ratings given voluntarily by
employees over the last 12 months,
on Glass Door, companies do not have
much of a weight of in this.
makes Google the best place to work
at, or Anglian Water a close second?
Google has a culture of great career
development, strong senior leaders,
great pay, great perks, what we
found with Anglian Water, they
interviewed their CEO, and we
realise that all of their senior
leaders, all their top directors,
have been through the company for
many years. Their employees trust
them, they know what they are about,
and I think that makes a big
Full details of all the other
stories that we are following,
including news that Sakho profits
have taken a hit after the collapse
of Monarch Airlines. It says profits
will fall by 5% over the next year.
That is because it has seen a
downturn in travel business as a
One of the big losers on
the FTSE 100, saga shares are down a
lot. -- Saga.
You're watching Business Live,
our top story Luxury goods firms get
set for a landmark European ruling
on whether they can control
how their goods are sold online.
A quick look at how
markets are faring.
We can see the market is taking a
turn for the worse.
A lot going on as the week
progresses, on Friday, end of the
week, something that is quite
significant, we have a US jobs
report coming out, on Friday, and
also, as well, just to bear in mind,
talking about geopolitics earlier, a
lot of concern about how Brexit
negotiations are going this week.
The UK is seen to be in a position
of weakness right now, depending
upon which angle you are looking at
it from, a lot of discussions about
internal politicking going on within
Theresa May's cabinet, that is
weighing on the pound sterling.
Breaking news on the top story we
were telling you about, news we were
expecting from the European Union
about whether the grand firms can
ban other retailers selling some of
their goods. Within the last few
minutes, US cosmetics
company Coty can indeed block. Many
of these retailers want to protect
profit margins but certainly their
brand. We are hearing that the
European Court of Justice has said
US cosmetics company Coty can blog
retailers from selling their
Now, in an increasingly digital
world, problems of isolation and
solitude can feel amplified by the
constant presence of social media.
But technology can - of course - be
part of the solution. A Norwegian
startup called 'No Isolation' is
using robots to help children who
can't go to school because of
long-term illness to continue to
feel part of the action. The small
machines act as a proxy for the
child and allows him/her to feel
part of the classroom experience,
albeit remotely. And that can help
them to feel less lonely. The
company estimates that in the UK in
October of this year, 70,000
children spend great parts of the
school year at home sick or in the
Joining us, Karen Dolva, is
co-founder & CEO of No Isolation.
And in the studio, we have one of
the robots which could be in a
classroom representing a child that
cannot be there. Lovely to meet you.
Tell us about this little fellow. I
am falling in love with it!
Explained how it will work.
It is a
total presence robot, if you are
really ill and must stay at home for
months or years, this represents you
in the class, you have a tablet, a
phone at home, you control
movements, you can see and talk to
everyone, friends can pick you up
and put you out to break.
keeping cameras on him, or her...
What is really important, the child
at home, the user, can change how
this robot looks. Light up the head
with different lights, if they are
not feeling well enough to be
involved, if they want to alert the
teacher, then there is different
ways of communicating.
One of the
first things we saw, we have been
testing this with real kids for
quite a long time, one of the things
that is difficult for them is saying
out loud, I am not feeling well.
They have a setting where they can
turn the head blue, indicating, I am
watching you, but do not ask me hard
questions, don't bring me out for
That is how children
interact, what about students in the
classroom... What research have you
got about how they interact?
been observing them, it takes other
kids two minutes to get the concept,
they are used to having avatars
representing them. The teachers take
a couple of hours, they need more
information when it comes to privacy
and it is only the child on the
other end that is supposed to see
I have three children in state
school education, you think about
the money, money is tight,
everything we want to do, expand,
invest in, it is not there, and
parent groups are busy having
fundraisers to make it possible.
Luckily, it is very few kids we are
talking about, so it is not
something everyone should have.
pays for it?
Mostly the schools. At
least in the Nordic, so far, 300
units out there, but we have five or
six customers here in the UK, they
have done it on their own. The
parents have rented it.
this work as a business for you, you
sell these things, is there an
ongoing revenue stream that you can
license these further afield?
think we will continue doing what we
are doing, maybe selling it to
schools and renting to parents. More
revenue heavy than a telepresence
robot for kids, if we rent it to
Tomorrow, if we are not
here, apps I can stay at home... We
are not saying anyone is lazy...
Thank you very much for coming in.
Really nice to see it.
In a moment, we will look through
the business newspapers, if I am
still here, but here a quick
reminder of to get in touch:
up-to-date with the business news as
it happens on the BBC's business
life page. Insight and analysis from
the team of editors write around the
globe. We want to hear from you,
too, get involved on the web page.
We want to remind you of the lead
story today, the European Court of
Justice with regards to its decision
on this case between the US
cosmetics company, Coty, that is the
ruling from the top court last few
minutes, that it can block its
products being sold on Amazon, for
instance. They want to protect
branding full. Back with us to talk
us through some of the stories,
let's talk about Twitter, lazy
people in the workplace, we all have
got them, somebody who is not quite
pulling their weight.
I'm afraid we
have a few like that in our office.
We want you to name and shame...
Really interesting thing, this
survey, talks about Brits, may not
be British workers, talking about
how we are more inclined to be a
little bit on the lazy site unless
we are massively motivated.
A lot of
it is about communication, employees
are not clear about what their job
is and the job description and what
is expected, sometimes they drift
because they are not clear.
might be an issue with weak wage
growth as well, they tweeted here
says, I work to the best of what my
salary justifies(!) people feel that
they have not had a pay increase for
a long time, they will not go the
extra mile because employers are not
Motivation is always
an issue, if you feel you are not
rewarded for the if effort that you
Christopher says, some jobs
don't allow people to work to their
potential, managers must accept they
are part of the problem. Rudolph
says, perhaps they are working at
the level that reflects their pay,
the point you are making.
the best of your ability often has
little or no impact on status of
prospects, though management pretend
People learned that it is
not a meritocracy. Time is against
us, I'm afraid, really good to see
Business live pages updating all the
time, with all the latest news. We
will see you soon.