PFS/EML and the Morans, data enforcement and the future of electricity bills

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Young people today face a different but no less daunting challenge when doing interviews.

Young people today face a different but no less daunting challenge when doing interviews.


The Meath-based founders of Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) have claimed its new Australian owners saw an opportunity because of a Central Bank investigation into the business to avoid paying out on the final €55 million part of the deal.

Noel and Valerie Moran, who sold PFS to Australian fintech EML Payments in a multimillion euro deal last year, contend the buyer incurred significant costs related to the inquiry that would depress the earnout owed to the couple. Charlie Taylor has the details.

The Republic’s record on enforcing dataprotection rules on Big Tech is coming under increasing scrutiny as the European Commission has indicated it is prepared to intervene in cases of weak oversight. EU commissioner for values and transparency Vera Jourová told a privacy conference that enforcement would have to be “effective” or it “will have to change”. Naomi O’Leary reports from Brussels.

Energy businesses Cool Planet and SSE Airtricityare working on a venture that could pay clients up to €900,00 in total over the next year for curbing electricity use. Cool Planet is recruiting industrial customers that can take pressure off electricity supplies when demand peaks by switching off equipment or switching on their own generators. Barry O’Halloran reports.

Irish start-up MedoSync, which has developed a technology platform to provide real-time healthcare billing, has raised €1.2 million in investment, writes Charlie Taylor.

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When it comes to paying for electricity John FitzGeraldsays we need to transition from a billing system based on usage to pay for the fuel used in generation to one based on fixed charges to pay for the turbines.

After the 16-year Merkel era of relative economic stability, where balanced budgets had priority over spending and investment, the Covid-19 pandemic has scrambled everything in Germany. Derek Scally reports form Berlin on what’s next for the EU’s biggest economy.

Kingspan, now run by the founder’s son Gene Murtagh, has made a serious error of judgement in allowing itself be dazzled by the bright lights and glamour of motorsport’s travelling carbon-carnival of conspicuous consumption, writes Mark Paul in Caveat.

Talent is tight, says Olive Keogh and reduced workload, provided companies can get their heads around how it works and are mature enough to implement it, could be a new weapon in staff retention, especially among senior employees and those in the professions who don’t want to work a week that’s wall to wall in billable hours.

Young people today face a different but no less daunting challenge when doing interviews, writes Sarah O’Connor. They find themselves smiling anxiously into their laptop webcams, answering questions as a timer ticks down with no human to interact with at all.

Prices are rising for businesses and consumers. But what will central banks do in response to the surging rate of inflation? Economics correspondent Eoin Burke-Kennedy explains on our Inside Business podcast why concerns about inflation are mounting across the euro zone and elsewhere. Then technology reporter Ciara O’Brien tells us about the departure of Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and what it means for the future of the social media company.

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