September 19

CBJ Sep 2019

There’s no shortage of national and international intrigue and issues that will have a direct impact on this country’s economy, both in the near-term and longer-term future. First is the federal election, which as of now looks like a horse race between the current Liberal government and the challenging Conservatives. A good part of the election will boil down to voters in the middle who will have to determine how confident they feel as to whether the international economy is going to go into recession or not. Strong arguments on both sides are valid. There is the side that believes more money needs to be spent on programs and services while others opine that now is the time for belt tightening in uncertain economic times. In addition to our own election the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and the UK’s Brexit mess will also hold impact for us, and should be watched closely.

EU regulators are keeping a close eye on Google for Jobs to see if the company unfairly favors its Internet tool for searching job listings. As of now there has been no definitive proof of that being the case — however, there has been rampant speculation that it does. Launched two years ago, the tool has already drawn numerous complaints from rivals alleging anticompetitive behavior. Earlier this month, 23 job search websites in Europe urged the European Commission to temporarily order Google to stop such practices while it investigates the issue. The EU Commissioner has handed out $9.2 billion in fines to the tech giant in recent years in three separate cases, and has voiced concerns about the possibility of similar anti-competitive practices by Alphabet unit Google in other areas.

Beyond Chicken is now being tested at several KFC restaurants in Atlanta. KFC’s parent company Yum Brands is now testing Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings. The move is an attempt by the fast-food chain to attract more diners, and specifically vegans. The restaurants sold out of all the food in a matter of hours on opening day, so it would appear there is a market for it. Beyond Meat has already partnered with the likes of sandwich chain Subway, Del Taco Restaurant and Restaurant Brand International’s Tim Hortons. But if it’s not real meat or chicken – but tastes like it – just how many laboratory chemicals are being used to emulate it?

Walt Disney will launch its Disney+ video streaming service in Canada on November 12, the same date as its previously announced United States launch. Netherlands will also receive the service as of that date, followed by Australia and New Zealand the following week. It’s expected pricing will be in the range of $6 to $8 per month.

Angus Gillespie
angus@cbj.ca
@CanBizJournal

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