Business

Business News at a Glance

Posted January 8, 2018 9:38 p.m. EST

Investors Prod Apple on Devices’ Effects on Children

Two of the biggest investors on Wall Street have asked Apple to study the health effects of its products on children and to make it easier for parents to limit their children’s use of iPhones and iPads. Once hailed for their innovation and economic success, Silicon Valley companies are under fire from all sides, facing calls to take more responsibility for their role in everything from election meddling and hate speech to physical health and internet addiction. While Facebook, Twitter and Google have been under scrutiny, Apple had escaped largely unscathed, until now. In a statement, Apple said the parental controls on its devices “lead the industry.”

GOP Says Tax Bill Will Add Jobs in U.S., but It May Yield More Hiring Abroad

“The tax cut will mean more companies moving to America, staying in America and hiring American workers," President Donald Trump said in Missouri in November. The bill he signed, however, could actually make it attractive for companies to put more assembly lines on foreign soil. Under the new law, income made by U.S. companies’ overseas subsidiaries will face U.S. taxes that are half the rate applied to their domestic income. Under the new rules, beyond the lower rate, companies will not have to pay U.S. taxes on the money they earn from plants or equipment abroad, if those earnings amount to 10 percent or less of the total investment.

Google Memo Author Sues, Claiming Bias Against White Conservative Men

James Damore was fired from his engineering job at Google last year after he wrote a memo criticizing the company’s diversity efforts and arguing that the low number of women in engineering positions was a result of biological differences. Now he is suing his former employer for workplace discrimination, claiming that Google is biased against white men with conservative views. The lawsuit, filed Monday by Damore and another former Google employee with California Superior Court of Santa Clara County, also claims that the company uses illegal quotas in order to hire women and minorities.

Toymaker VTech Settles Charges of Violating Child Privacy Law

Electronic toymaker VTech Electronics agreed to pay $650,000 to settle charges that it had collected digital data on children without parents’ permission and failed to keep it secure from hackers, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. It was the first enforcement action against a company that makes internet-connected toys by the FTC, which has received complaints about privacy violations and online advertising aimed at children. Some child advocates have complained that the agency has been slow to respond to the complaints. The FTC said the action against VTech showed the agency’s dedication to child safety and privacy issues — particularly given the fast-growth of the connected toy market.

H&M Apologizes for ‘Monkey’ Image Featuring Black Child

Clothing retailer H&M apologized Monday for an image in its online store that showed a black child wearing a hooded sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.” The company removed the image Monday and said it would pull the shirt from its stores worldwide. The image was widely criticized online for its reference to a monkey, an animal that has long featured in racial and ethnic slurs. In a statement, H&M said it agreed with those who were “upset about the image. We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print,” the company said in a statement.

Condé Nast Chooses a Digital-First Editor to Run Glamour

When Samantha Barry was growing up in Ireland, she and her family would gather to watch the 6 o’clock news. They also told stories around the dinner table. Barry has continued to tell stories from New York to Papua New Guinea. Though she has never worked at a magazine, Barry had no qualms about her new job: Glamour's editor-in-chief. When she assumes her post next week, Barry will become the first person with an exclusively digital and television background to lead a Condé Nast magazine. She will succeed Cindi Leive, 50, who left the magazine after 16 years at its helm.