Trump bans Huawei, Asda workers in court, Vodafone: your commercial news round-up
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In a week in which MPs prepare themselves to vote again on the Brexit deal at the start of next month, and the Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled after a guest’s death, there have been plenty of noteworthy news stories to keep abreast of. For in-depth analysis of the latest legal and commercial issues, we would always recommend signing up to Lexology. In the meantime, dive into this week’s commercial news round-up:
- President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to ban US companies from using foreign telecoms believed to pose national security risks. Declaring a national emergency, the move is regarded as an attack on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, which provides 5G mobile networks. A White House statement said that Trump’s order aims to “protect America from foreign adversaries”. Several countries have raised concerns that Huawei products could be used for surveillance by the Chinese government, but the UK government recently said that Huawei could provide parts for the UK’s 5G network.
- Asda workers are returning to court as GMB, the union for the supermarket’s employees, continues to fight for equal pay between distribution and shop workers. Asda lost the first stage of the case at the Employment Tribunal in October 2016 and both subsequent appeals. GMB will bring more than 17,000 members back to court in May and June in Manchester, with the trade union represented by law firm Leigh Day. In other news for the supermarket, it was revealed this week that Asda could be listed on the stock market after the merger with Sainsburys’ was prevented by the competitions authority.
- Subscription firms, including mobile phone, broadband and television providers, must notify their customers before their contracts end by law, under new rules proposed by watchdog Ofcom. Estimates show that over 20 million people have stuck with contracts without realising that the end date has passed. From February 2020, companies will be required to contact customers before their contracts end to inform them when the contract can be terminated without penalty.
- Mobile phone provider Vodafone has reported a whopping annual loss of £6.6 billion as the firm cuts shareholder dividends for the first time. Despite the results, Vodafone has said that it will turn on its new 5G service in the UK at the beginning of July. Meanwhile holiday firm Thomas Cook has issued a new profit warning after reporting a £1.45 billion loss for the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2019.