The world this week--Business
America’s Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that could potentially undermine the business model of social-media companies.
In Gonzalez v Google the parents of a woman who was killed in a terror attack on Paris in 2015 claim that YouTube aided the terrorists by recommending the group’s videos to users.
The case focuses on the legal protection from liability given to internet companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
In Twitter v Taamneh the family of a man killed in an attack in Istanbul in 2017 allege that Twitter, Google and Facebook should be held accountable for spreading terrorist propaganda.
The court’s decisions are expected in June.
Meta launched a subscription service on Facebook and Instagram that verifies the authenticity of accounts and protects users from impersonation.
The service, which is being tested in Australia and New Zealand, is similar to Twitter’s blue-tick system.
Social-media companies are looking for ways to increase revenue to offset smaller returns from advertising.
The Bank of Israel lifted its main interest rate by half a percentage point, to 4.25%.
It was the eighth consecutive rise, prompting a rebuke from Israel’s foreign minister, who called on the government to put a stop to the increases.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, said he had no intention of messing with the central bank’s independence.
Switzerland’s financial regulator is reportedly investigating the chairman of Credit Suisse for potentially misleading markets when he said that a run of huge client outflows at the bank had stopped.
A subsequent earnings report showed that the outflows had continued.
News of the investigation sent Credit Suisse’s share price to a new low.
The benchmark price for natural-gas futures in Europe fell below 50 euros (53 dollars) a megawatt hour for the first time in 18 months.
A mild winter and the switch to liquefied natural gas imports have helped offset the shock from Russia withholding its supplies. Storage levels remain high.
However, prices could shoot up if power companies turn back to gas to fire their plants, and away from the current cheaper alternatives, such as coal.
The price of permits on the EU’s carbon-trading market hit 100 euros ($107 dollars) a tonne for the first time.
The price of the permits, which allow companies to emit pollutants, subject to a cap, has risen by a fifth this year.
Traders are betting that cheaper natural gas and a resilient economy will lead to higher industrial output.