6 Most Important Things in Business Today

April 25, 2018 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google has changed Gmail to get more business customers. According to Reuters:

Alphabet Google unveiled on Wednesday its first Gmail redesign since 2013, capping what the company says was an expensive overhaul two years in the making to adopt security and offline functionality and better resemble Microsoft Outlook.

It is Google’s most extensive update to software in its G Suite workplace bundle since accelerating efforts to steal business from Microsoft Corp’s dominant Office workplace software suite. Previously, G Suite added instant-messaging and spreadsheet features.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will start to offer deliveries to some cars. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Amazon.com Inc. is now delivering packages right to the car.

The company said Tuesday it has joined with General Motors Co. and Volvo Cars to start offering in-car deliveries, giving its couriers access to potentially millions of vehicles in 37 U.S. markets. The deal expands Amazon’s effort to get consumers comfortable with the idea of strangers entering their homes and cars as the company handles more packages.

BMW has launched an electric sport utility vehicle. According to Bloomberg:

Just as China’s trade relations with the U.S. are at their worst in years, BMW AG is laying the groundwork to start exporting from its biggest market to buyers around the world including in North America.

The carmaker plans to begin producing its first all-electric sport utility vehicle, dubbed the iX3, in 2020 at its joint-venture plant in the northern city of Shenyang, and will sell the model abroad, according to partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. The German manufacturer is offering buyers an early taste of the car with a concept unveiled Wednesday at the Beijing auto show.

Bitcoin prices are on the rise again. According to CNBC:

Bitcoin rose to its highest level in more than a month as the broader U.S. financial markets sold off Tuesday.

The digital currency was trading near $9,436 as of 4:21 p.m. ET, and has jumped nearly 20 percent in the past week, according to data from Coindesk. Bitcoin is coming off of its worst quarter ever, when it lost roughly 48 percent of its value in three months.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has a new in-house lobbyist. According to CNBC:

Facebook is shuffling around its senior leadership in the wake of increased regulatory scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Erin Egan, the social network’s chief privacy officer, was also in charge of U.S. policy, which involved lobbying and government relations.

She will be replaced as head of policy in the U.S. by Kevin Martin on an interim basis, Facebook confirmed to several media outlets on Tuesday

Martin was once the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) may dump the auditor it has had for over a century. According to CNNMoney:

KPMG has been inspecting General Electric’s books since William Howard Taft was president of the United States.

GE, after a disastrous year that included an SEC accounting investigation, is now under fire to dump KPMG as its auditor.

Shareholder watchdog groups worry that GE and KPMG have become too cozy during their 109-year-old relationship. Both Glass-Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services are urging shareholders not to ratify KPMG as GE’s auditor at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

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