Getty Images Accuses Google in Competition Row

Getty Images Accuses Google in Competition Row
Photo agency Getty Images says it will file a competition lawsuit with the EU against Google, adding to a long list of European cases against the company.  US-based Getty argues that changes to Google’s picture search promote piracy and give the tech giant unfair advantages in traffic and advertising.

Google already faces charges over breaching EU competition laws. The company has in the past dismissed allegations it has used its dominant position to stifle competition.

Getty Images says Google is displaying pictures in its search results that takes away traffic that would otherwise go to Getty’s own website. The photo agency argues that because image consumption is immediate, once an image is displayed in large format by Google, there is little reason for the users to continue to the original source site of a given picture they are viewing.

“These changes have allowed Google to reinforce its role as the internet’s dominant search engine, maintaining monopoly over site traffic, engagement data and advertising spend,” Getty said in a press release.  “This has also promoted piracy, resulting in widespread copyright infringement, turning users into accidental pirates.”

Getty said it represented more than 200,000 photo journalists, content creators and artists worldwide who depend on being paid for their work.

Economists for Brexit Back Campaign to Leave EU

Economists for Brexit Back Campaign to Leave EU
A group of eight influential economists have thrown their support behind the Leave campaign in the UK’s referendum on EU membership. The group, Economists for Brexit, claim the UK economy would be boosted by 4% outside the EU.

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But the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign said their economic model would be “the worst possible alternative”.

It was the first time a group of economists have publicly backed Brexit. The economic arguments have so far been tilted towards the Remain camp, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) both warning against leaving.

The report’s authors include Patrick Minford, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, and Gerard Lyons, a former chief economist at Standard Chartered and now an adviser to the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, who is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.

Prof Minford, professor of applied economics at Cardiff University, said: “Our analysis shows that walking away from the EU, not negotiating a new agreement with the EU while getting rid of EU trade barriers will bring about a 4% of GDP gain to the economy, consumer prices will fall about 8%, and our hugely competitive services sector will take the place of diminishing manufacturing output.”

He argued that the UK would not need a new trade agreement if it left the EU because 70% of exports were traded outside the bloc under WTO rules. “The remaining 30% would also become subject to WTO rules and would be sold to the EU subject to its general tariffs which average around 4%, in the same way as exports from Japan or the US,” Prof Minford said.

The group, which also includes Roger Bootle, founder of Capital Economics, said that leaving the EU could cut unemployment by 75,000.

Dr Lyons said that staying in Europe would increase risks for financial services and the City of London.

A spokesperson for Britain Stronger In Europe said: “Treasury analysis shows that trading under WTO rules would be the worst possible alternative to EU membership, seeing households £5,200 worse off and a public spending black hole of £45bn. “The Treasury also says this model will see the sharpest price rises, as new tariffs on goods, including 10 per cent on cars and 36.1 per cent on dairy products, would be imposed.”

Lloyds Bank Reports Fall in Profits

Lloyds Bank Reports Fall in Profits
Lloyds Banking Group has reported a fall in first quarter profits after what it called a “robust” performance. Underlying profits for the January to March period dipped 6% to £2.05bn for the first quarter of the year, down from £2.18bn a year earlier.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said the bank had “continued to make good progress”.

Statutory pre-tax profits nearly halved to £654m, mainly due to a £790m charge the bank took for buying back bonds. No further provisions were made for PPI compensation, where complaint levels were around 8,500 per week on average, broadly in line with expectations.
Lloyds was rescued by the government during the financial crisis, which left the state holding a 43% stake in the bank.

The government has been steadily reducing its stake and now holds less than 10%. In January, the chancellor postponed the sale of the government’s final stake in Lloyds, blaming the turmoil in financial markets.

Mr Horta-Osorio has cut thousands of jobs and said Thursday’s results reflected the bank’s “simple, low risk business model.”

Lloyds, which is the largest retail bank in Britain, said total income fell 1% to £4.38bn as higher revenue from its retail bank was offset by lower income from its insurance division.

On Wednesday, Barclays reported a 25% drop in profits for the first quarter of the year. It had set expectations low, warning it had been hit by the same headwinds that have hit profits across most of the world’s biggest banks.

UK Electroplating Services – Hastings Metals

UK Electroplating Services
Hastings Metal Finishers are a specialist electroplating company located in the UK. Established in 1983 with the aim of providing an electroplating service of the highest quality to the engineering industry, the Company is run by Managing Director Paul Hastings, a Graduate Chemist who has over 25 years of surface engineering experience.

zinc_plating_imageHastings Metal Finishers
Our current client base numbers over 200 Companies including leading organisations in the areas of precision and general engineering, metal fabrication, and electrical and electronic engineering.

Their aim is to provide our customers with the following range of electroplating services and related surface treatments:

  • Solvent Degreasing • Acid Pickling   •  Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Silver Plating • Nickel Plating                •  Gold Plating
  • Tin Plating • Copper Plating              •  Vibratory Polishing
  • Zinc Plating • Bright Acid Dipping
  • Clear, Yellow and Black Chromate Passivating

The Electroplating Process
Electroplating is a process that uses electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations so that they form a coherent metal coating on an electrode. The term is also used for electrical oxidation of anions onto a solid substrate, as in the formation silver chloride on silver wire to make silver/silver-chloride electrodes. Electroplating is primarily used to change the surface properties of an object (e.g. abrasion and wear resistance, corrosion protection, lubricity, aesthetic qualities, etc.), but may also be used to build up thickness on undersized parts or to form objects by electroforming.

Electroplating changes the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of the workpiece. An example of a chemical change is when nickel plating improves corrosion resistance. An example of a physical change is a change in the outward appearance.
An example of a mechanical change is a change in tensile strength or surface hardness which is a required attribute in tooling industry.[9] Electroplating of acid gold on underlying copper/nickel-plated circuits reduces contact resistance as well as surface hardness. Copper plated areas of mild steel act as a mask if case hardening of such areas are not desired.Tin-plated steel is chromium plated to prevent dulling of the surface due to oxidation of tin.

All finishes are available in rack and barrel processing. Treatment facilities are available for processing ferrous components including stainless steel, copper and its alloys and aluminium alloys and they operate an in-house laboratory for physical and chemical testing. Hastings Metal Finishers are also happy to advise existing and potential customers on any surface finishing issues.

Contact Hastings Metal Finishers
For further information please call 0191 4839213 or visit the Hastings Metal Finishers & Electroplating Services website.