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Author: Rob Davies

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France pushes forward alone with new tax on big tech companies



Tax will come into effect from 1 January, but plans for an EU-wide levy have faltered

France is to press ahead alone with a new tax on big technology companies after struggling to secure agreement for a EU-wide levy.

The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said he believed the tax, which will take effect from 1 January, would raise €500m (£450m) in its first year.

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The giant that no one trusts: why Huawei’s history haunts it



The arrest of its chief financial officer has shone a light on its global role in telecoms – and links to the Chinese state

Many executives consider themselves figures of great significance, but few are capable of sending a chill through global markets simply by getting arrested. Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng or Cathy Meng, is one.

The chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei – and the daughter of its billionaire founder, Ren Zhengfei – was detained in Vancouver last week. She could face extradition to the US on charges thought to be related to allegations that Huawei breached sanctions levied by Washington against Iran.

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Google under pressure to refuse Viagogo advertising



FA, UK Music and MPs urge Google to stop accepting payments from ticket firm

Google has been urged to stop accepting money from Viagogo to place the ticket website at the top of its search rankings, in an open letter signed by the Football Association, several MPs and trade body UK Music.

The letter, sent to senior Google executives on Friday and seen by the Guardian, says that Viagogo’s prominence in search rankings is leading to consumers buying sports, music and theatre tickets that may be invalid.

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BA customers’ hacked credit card details have probably already been sold



Hacked data – including CVV codes – worth about £20m on dark web, cybersecurity experts say

The credit card details of 380,000 British Airways customers could already be on sale on the internet after the airline suffered a “malicious” data breach, experts have warned.

Customers were scrambling to change their credit card details on Friday, after BA said it was investigating the theft of passengers’ financial data from its website and app over a two-week period between 21 August and 5 September. The airline said it would compensate passengers for any losses, signalling the potential for large payouts, given the number of customers affected.

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Facebook removes video game ad showing woman’s torture



Social media giant had indicated that Mafia City content did not breach guidelines

Facebook has removed an advert for a video game that invites players to torture or kill a gagged and trembling woman after initially indicating that the content did not breach its guidelines.

The ad depicts scenes from a popular game called Mafia City, which has been downloaded more than 10m times as a mobile app and is promoted on Facebook users’ feeds. It has been banned by YouTube.

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Apple becomes world’s first trillion-dollar company



Computing and mobile phone giant beats Amazon to landmark after its shares hit $207.05

Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar company on Thursday, as a rise in its share price pushed it past the landmark before its closest rival for the honour, retail giant Amazon.

The iMac to iPhone company, co-founded to sell personal computers by the late Steve Jobs in 1976, reached the historic milestone as its shares hit $207.05, the day after it posted strong financial results. Apple’s share price has grown 2,000% since Tim Cook replaced Jobs at chief executive in 2011.

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No-deal Brexit risks ‘civil unrest’, warns Amazon’s UK boss



Doug Gurr reportedly made comment in meeting with the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab

Amazon’s UK boss has warned the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, that Britain would face “civil unrest” within weeks of a no-deal Brexit, adding the online retailer’s voice to a growing list of businesses voicing concerns.

Doug Gurr, the retail giant’s UK manager, reportedly made the comment during a meeting between Raab and a group of senior business executives on Friday.

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Paddy Power Betfair in talks to buy FanDuel after US sports betting ruling



Discussions with fantasy sports league company come as UK bookmakers are well placed for slice of US market

Paddy Power Betfair has made the first move in an expected wave of takeover activity prompted by the legalisation of sports betting in the US, as it launched a bid for fantasy sports league company FanDuel.

Shares in UK gambling companies soared earlier this week as investors responded to the US supreme court’s decision to overturn a law known as PASPA, a ban on sports bets that had stood for 26 years.

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