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Author: Rupert Neate

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Facebook’s UK tax bill rises to £15.8m – but it is still just 1% of sales



Margaret Hodge MP says it is ‘outrageous’ how little tax the company pays in Britain

Facebook paid £15.8m in tax in the UK last year after making a profit of £62.7m on record British sales of £1.27bn.

The social media giant’s accounts show that while Facebook increased its UK income by more than 50% in 2017, its pre-tax profits remained similar to 2016.

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Twitter market cap slumps nearly $5bn after it loses 1m users



Firm says fall is linked to action to delete fake accounts and admits it may well continue

Almost $5bn (£3.8bn) has been wiped off the market value of Twitter after the social media service reported a drop of 1 million users following its action to delete fake and offensive accounts.

Twitter’s shares fell by 15% when Wall Street opened on Friday before recovering slightly to be down 16% after investors were spooked by news that the number of active monthly users fell from 336 million to 335 million over the past three months.

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Over $118bn wiped off Facebook’s market cap after growth shock



Shares crash as social network admits user growth fell after Cambridge Analytica breach

More than $110bn (£84bn) has been wiped off Facebook’s market value, which includes a $16bn hit to the fortune of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, after the company told investors that user growth had slowed in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook’s shares had plunged 18% by Thursday afternoon in New York, a day after the Silicon Valley company revealed that 3 million users in Europe had abandoned the social network since the Observer revealed the Cambridge Analytica breach of 87m Facebook profiles and the introduction of strict European Union data protection legislation.

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Amazon threatens to move jobs out of Seattle over new tax



Warning issued after council votes for corporate wealth tax to help tackle city’s housing crisis

Amazon has threatened to move jobs out of its hometown of Seattle after the city council introduced a new tax to try and address the homelessness crisis.

Related: ‘Tax Amazon’: Seattle passes plan for corporate wealth tax to fund housing

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Jeff Bezos: the boy who wanted to colonise space



From a young age, the Amazon founder had dreamed up unlikely-sounding schemes. And then one took off

In 1994, Jeff Bezos held 60 meetings with family members, friends and potential investors in an attempt to persuade them to invest $50,000 (£35,000) in his revolutionary idea to create an online bookshop. He failed to convince 38 of them, and 24 years later some of them still cannot bring themselves to talk about what life might have been like if they had taken a punt on Bezos and this “Amazon thing” that the then 30-year-old hedge fund manager wouldn’t shut up about.

“I’m in touch with a few of them now,” Bezos revealed in an on-stage interview at a charity dinner in Washington DC last year. “It’s kind of a study in human nature … Some of them take it in their stride, and they recognise that they actually have ridiculously happy lives. [But] others of them just cannot talk about it – it’s too painful.”

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Gambling tycoon builds $100m bitcoin-funded Antiguan resort



‘His excellency’ Calvin Ayre says project will be entirely funded from digital currency profits

Calvin Ayre, a gambling and bitcoin multi-millionaire who was once on the run from the US authorities, is building a $100m five-star resort on Antigua funded by profits from digital currencies.

Canadian-born Ayre, who has been appointed Antigua and Barbuda’s special economic envoy, said he had begun work on the upmarket tourist resort on Antigua’s Valley Church beach.

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Gambling tycoon builds $100m bitcoin-funded Antiguan resort



‘His excellency’ Calvin Ayre says project will be entirely funded from digital currency profits

Calvin Ayre, a gambling and bitcoin multi-millionaire who was once on the run from the US authorities, is building a $100m five-star resort on Antigua funded by profits from digital currencies.

Canadian-born Ayre, who has been appointed Antigua and Barbuda’s special economic envoy, said he had begun work on the upmarket tourist resort on Antigua’s Valley Church beach.

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Arsenal seals cryptocurrency sponsorship deal



First such deal by a major sporting team will see club promoting CashBet at the Emirates

Arsenal has signed a sponsorship deal with the US cryptocurrency CashBet, which will see the Premier League club promote the firm’s initial coin offering (ICO) at the 60,000-seat Emirates stadium.

The deal, the value of which was undisclosed, is the first time a major global sporting team has officially partnered with a cryptocurrency firm. It comes as an increasing number of regulators and business leaders express concern about the dangers of consumers risking their savings in unregulated virtual currencies.

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Tiny US soft drinks firm changes name to cash in on bitcoin mania



Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s shares jump 432% after new name includes word ‘blockchain’, the currency’s ledger technology

Shares in a tiny US soft drinks firm, Long Island Iced Tea Corp, have quadrupled in value in just one day after it changed its name to Long Blockchain Corporation, the latest move by a string of obscure companies rebranding themselves in an attempt to ride the bitcoin bubble.

The small business, which produces a range of soft drinks on Long Island, said it was still going to continue making the iced tea-based drinks but was “shifting its primary corporate focus towards the exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology”.

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Game that tune: Apple snaps up Shazam for reported $400m



Price tag would be less than half the $1bn music identifying app was last valued at when it tapped investors in 2015

Apple has bought Shazam, a London-based app that allows smartphone users to identify music, for a reported $400m (£300m).

The US company, which revolutionised music with the introduction of the the iPod and iPhone, said Shazam was a natural fit for its Apple Music streaming service.

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