Planet Business

Fri, Apr 13, 2012, 01:00

A round-up of this week's news in brief

Getting to know...

Kevin Systrom

The only thing anyone really needs to know about Kevin Systrom is that he owns about 40 per cent of Instagram, the photograph-sharing app that’s less than two years old and has yet to make a profit, which was sold to Facebook this week for $1 billion. The 28-year old Stanford graduate and former Google employee was born to laugh all his way to the Billionaires’ Bank of Silicon Valley – not only did his mother Diane Systrom work for monster.comduring the first internet boom, but his surname pretty much sounds like a hot internet venture in its own right.

The Lexicon

Eurovegas

Eurovegas is the inevitable nickname for what could be Europe’s first Las Vegas-style casino.

It’s the baby of US gaming operator Las Vegas Sands, which is quite keen on the idea that Spain might revise its taxation laws to allow it to build a mega-casino complex in either Madrid or Barcelona. Spanish politicians have seen the dollar signs flash in front of their eyes at the prospect of an €18 billion complex potentially employing thousands of people and taking the cash of many more gambling tourists.

Pressure groups against the 12-hotel, six-casino development say the plans are all too reminiscent of a property bubble that hasn’t exactly brought a lasting economic jackpot to the country.

Image of the Week

Spanish heat

There was no escaping the press pack this week for Bank of Spain governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, pictured here on Tuesday by Reuters photographer Susana Vera, as he admitted that Spanish banks could need more capital if the economy continues to deteriorate.

Not all Spanish lenders are expected to survive what investors believe will be imminent carnage in the Spanish banking sector as house prices continue to plummet.

However, the Spanish government is, for now, denying the need for a troika-style bailout. It all sounds terribly familiar.

In numbers

ebook pricing

$12.99 - $14.99

Ebook prices set by publishers under agreements with Apple. The US Department of Justice has sued Apple and five publishers, alleging price collusion.

$9.99

The maximum price for ebooks charged by Amazon. Its dominance of the market prompted Apple to fight back via the agency pricing model, in which it took a 30 per cent cut and obliged publishers not to sell on cheaper terms elsewhere.

$2-$5

Rise in the price of best-selling ebook titles as a result of the Apple agency model, introduced at the same time as its iPad, according to the US government, costing consumers “tens of millions of dollars”.