Your commercial news round-up: Brent Crude, Meta, McLaren Racing, Barcelona FC, Chelsea FC, EY

updated on 17 March 2022

Reading time: four minutes

The UK’s cost of living crisis continues to wreak havoc this week, with concerns that low-income households could fall further into debt, hunger and poverty. On top of the cost of living crisis, what else is in the news this week? Are you up to date?

  • In petrol news, Brent Crude fell below $100 on Tuesday for the first time since the beginning of March, with RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams stating that drivers “should be encouraged” by the drop in oil and wholesale prices, despite the fact that the cost of petrol is at a record high. According to the RAC, the cost of filling up a family car was above £90 on Monday as petrol prices surged to another record high. The average price of a litre of petrol jumped to 163.71 pence, with diesel climbing to 173.68 pence. However, oil prices have fallen in the past few days. Hopes of progress in ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine, and demand in China expected to fall as covid cases rise are two factors contributing to the price drop, according to the BBC. Williams has urged retailers “who buy fuel most often” to start reflecting “these reductions at the pumps to give drivers a much-needed break from the pain of constantly rising prices”.
  • Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has been issued a €17 million fine by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) following several historical data breaches that were disclosed to the DPC in 2018. Around 30 million Facebook users were thought to have been impacted by the data breaches, which a Meta spokesperson put down to old “record keeping practices”. The DPC “examined the extent to which Meta Platforms complied with the requirements of GDPR […] in relation to the processing of personal data relevant to the 12 breach notifications.” The regulator’s inquiry into Facebook found that “Meta Platforms infringed Articles 5(2) and 24(1) GDPR” and failed to have in place appropriate measures to protect the data of its EU users whose data was allegedly breached.
  • British motor racing team McLaren Racing has partnered with tech giant Google in a multi-year deal which will see the Formula 1 (F1) team use Google products during races to “opitimse” its race-day performance. The partnerships spans across the McLaren F1 Team and McLaren MX Extreme E Team from 2022. Android, Chrome and Google branding will be visible on various race cars and on the helmets and race suits of drivers including Lando Norris and Emma Gilmour. McLaren Racing’s Chief Executive Zak Brown said: “By integrating platforms like Android and Chrome across our operations, our team will be better supported to focus on driving performance”.
  • Earlier this week, Barcelona Football Club confirmed that Spotify will become the club’s main sponsor, as its existing shirt sponsorship deal with e-commerce firm Rakuten is set to expire this summer. The new deal includes the naming rights to the club's revamped Camp Nou stadium, plus shirt sponsorship for the club’s men’s and women’s teams for the next four years, as well as training kits for the next three years. Financial details of the deal have not yet been released but is thought to be in the region of €280 million, according to sources who spoke to ESPN. Barcelona’s board president Joan Laporta previously revealed that the club was open to selling the naming rights of its 100,000-capacity stadium to help finance its €1.5 billion redevelopment.
  • In other football news, bidding for Chelsea Football Club continues ahead of Friday’s deadline as rival bidders join forces. The Ricketts family, owners of US baseball team Chicago Cubs, and Ken Griffin, billionaire hedge-fund tycoon, have come together to create a ‘super consortium’ with plans to submit an offer for the club on Friday, according to Sky Sports News. Meanwhile, it was revealed that Nick Candy, a luxury property developer and Chelsea fan, also has the funds to make an offer for the club, with promises to provide the club’s fans with a seat on its board if his offer is accepted. Candy believes that fans should be involved, “on the board and economically”. Former Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli’s global sports advisory and capital solutions firm, Tifosy Capital & Advisory, has been hired by Candy to advise on his offer before Friday’s deadline.
  • German law firm TILP has filed a lawsuit against EY Germany in a Munich court, following allegations that the Big Four accountancy firm violated its duty to Wirecard investors by “aiding and abetting” the financial services company in filing “false annual reports”, according to CITY A.M. TILP claimed that EY has “made itself liable for damages to the shareholders and bond buyers of Wirecard AG due to several breaches of duty”. EY has denied the claims, arguing that they are “unfounded”. The spokesperson for EY added: “The auditor would only be liable in relation to investors in the event of intent. Our audit teams performed their audit procedures to the best of their knowledge and belief”.

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