Your commercial news round-up: Netflix, Nike, Boohoo, Apple and Goldman Sachs

updated on 15 July 2021

This week we saw Netflix move beyond TV shows and films, Nike lose its latest round in court, Boohoo partner with the Alshaya group and Apple launch a buy now pay later service in partnership with Goldman Sachs. What are the key takeaways from this commercial news? Can you see any trends or patterns? Which sectors are continuously doing well and which sectors are struggling in today’s climate? Read this week’s round-up below for further insight into the headlines mentioned above:

  • In the media industry, Netflix has made its first move beyond TV and films with an expansion into video games. According to Bloomberg, the streaming platform has hired a former Electronic Arts Inc and Facebook Inc executive to lead the expansion. Mike Verdu will join Netflix as vice president of game development; previously Verdu worked as Facebook’s vice president to bring games to ‘Oculus virtual-reality headsets.’ Netflix plans to offer video games on its streaming platform, which will appear alongside its current content as a new programme genre – there are currently no plans to implement an additional charge for the video games, according to an anonymous source.
  • In retailer news, Nike has lost the latest round in court over the EU’s crackdown on its tax affairs. The fashion law reported that Nike had initially faced investigation back in January 2019 when the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether “tax rulings granted by the Netherlands to Nike may have given the company an unfair advantage over its competitors.” Nike has allegedly been paying less tax than its competitors, which is a breach of EU state aid rules. The sportswear titan has always maintained that it complies “…with all the same tax laws as other companies operating in the Netherlands” and further asserted the “European Commission’s investigation is without merit”.
  • Meanwhile, Boohoo has partnered with the Alshaya group as part of the retailer’s plans to grow its presence in the Middle East. Boohoo recently bought Debenhams for £55 million and has seized the opportunity to grow a new market and build on the existing house brand. Boohoo plans on seeing its brand in Middle East’s Debenhams stores in the final quarter of this year, including a new Middle Eastern online platform from early 2022. According to CITY AM, “Kuwait-based Alshaya, which currently run Debenhams stores in shopping malls, will have exclusive rights to operate Debenhams stores and local e-commerce sites” in the Middle East.
  • In the Fintech sector, Apple is set to partner with Goldman Sachs to launch a buy now pay later service called ‘Apple Pay Later’ through Apple Pay. This service, akin to Klarna, Clearpay and Laybuy, allows Apple Pay users to spread the cost of purchases across four interest-free instalments or across several months with interest. It also includes payments plans that exclude late fees, which means Apple users pay interest only for longer-term plans. Apple users will also be able to “exit payment plans to pay off the remainder of their purchase balance”.

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