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COMMENTS PRINT

All In The Family

Looks like James MacLeod, 24, could give his grandfather a run for his money. The 83-year-old in question is Rupert Murdoch, who runs a print-centric media business. MacLeod, whose mother Prudence is Murdoch’s daughter, is offering an audio news app, Clippet. Targeted at millenials (18 to 28-year olds) turned off by traditional print media, the app offers bite-sized audio news clips lasting approximately a minute. Amid the popularity for video-based platforms, the audio-based format will work for mobile phone users because it is not as data-heavy and works offline too. MacLeod is offering news clips for free unlike Murdoch, a firm believer in paid content. Watch this space to see who finally wins the battle.


Stapled Together

18 years after the first attempt at a merger, US office supply giants, Staples and Office Depot, have finally declared their merger official. Staples agreed to buy Office Depot in a cash-and-stock deal for over $6 billion. The deal is supposedly going to boost the merged entity’s online revenues to $14.5 billion. The new company will have over 4,244 stores, but around 1/4th of the stores will have to be closed just to keep the operation profitable. Office Depot is still losing a lot of money on all the stores it got when it acquired OfficeMax. Whether this marriage of convenience works out in their favour is to be seen.


Fully Charged

It’s unofficially official. Japan has emerged as the only country where electric-car charging points (40,000) outnumber the gas stations (34,000). The announcement was not made by the government but by Nissan Motor Co, the country’s second-biggest car maker, which produces the battery-powered Leaf model that runs 135 km on a single charge. But Nissan would be keen to see the statistics get replicated in the US. As the biggest market for Leaf — 72,322 vehicles sold since launch — the US has just 9,000 charging stations.


Melting Point

Gina Rinehart has lost $6 billion or a third of her wealth, thanks to plummeting iron ore prices. But with $12 billion, she is still the richest person in Australia. Once the world’s richest woman, the mining magnate seems to be recouping some losses. Rinehart dumped her 14.99% stake in Fairfax Media, publisher of Australia’s leading newspapers — The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review — for A$306 million last month.

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