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Searching questions for Google posed by the EU

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent So Google is back in the dock again in Europe. This time over competition concerns. The reality, however, is that it has never really been out of the dock on this one for the past five years. What is all the fuss about? Back in 2010, when Google was first hauled up by the EU on anti-trust issues, there were four topics of concern to the then Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia. These were …

Fianna Fáil fails to learn from its own history

By Business Editor David Murphy The late Fianna Fáil Minister for Transport Séamus Brennan was a friendly, popular and articulate politician. He served two stints as Transport Minister. On both occasions his actions demonstrated that he saw how competition benefits consumers. Eleven years ago he pursued a policy of opening CIE to more competition, part of which would have put 10% of bus routes on the market for open tender. Ultimately his plans met with union opposition and did not proceed. …

Where’s the investment?

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan The IMF published some research this week on what it calls the “disappointing performance” of private fixed investment in the aftermath of the economic crisis. This low level of investment has, it says, contributed to a drop in potential output in numerous economies. So why is there so little investment?

Large Hadron Collider: The Sequel

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent In the coming days the world’s biggest and most expensive scientific experiment will get underway again, after a two year rest. The circular Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Cern will once again have protons fired in opposite directions and almost the speed of light around its two 27km long pipes which are surrounded by superconducting magnets. Why was it shutdown? The so-called Long Shutdown 1 began in 2012 for two main reasons. First, …

The dilemma of a better Budget

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan So the ESRI thinks the budget deficit could be down to 0.3% by the end of next year. This is very close to it being eliminated – which is what is supposed to happen by the end of 2018. This is a sign of just how strongly the ESRI thinks the economy is growing. It’s also a bit of a dilemma for the Government; and the European Union.

A good week for Denis O’Brien

It has been a good week for Denis O’Brien. He is the biggest shareholder in Independent News & Media (INM), which this week passed the pivotal point in its reversal of fortunes. Three years ago INM was facing an existential crisis. It was snowed under with €420m of bank borrowings, revenues were declining and the O’Reilly family had been ousted from the board. With its finances, strategy and board in difficulty, it was in dangerous territory. A year later, the …

Regional Roughhouse

Well that hit the spot.  The Nevin Economic Research Institute’s quarterly economic commentary doesn’t usually lead to Twitter fights and attacks by the Government, but last Thursday’s edition did. And it was all caused by having a look at the CSO’s employment figures for 2014, and trying to figure out where the jobs are being created. In a 58-page report, it was just one page, home to box 2.1, that caused all the fuss. This was an item about trends …

Science funding under the microscope

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent There; they’ve said it. It’s taken a while to pluck up the courage to speak out. It’s taken some time to figure out how they should do it. But finally scientists here have come together, agreed a position and stated it clearly. Enough is enough, they claim. The science funding model in Ireland has to change. For several years now scientists here, and Irish scientists who’ve chosen to or been forced to move …

Plenty of good news – providing nobody blows it

By Business Editor David Murphy The first two month of this year have been defined by the improvement in the economy picking up momentum at a faster pace than many had expected. The speed of the progress has only been matched by politicians making promises about spending the new funds flowing into the Government’s coffers. It is treacherous territory because some of the recent gains are based on international factors which are currently in Ireland’s favour, but won’t remain that …

10 takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2015

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Over the past four days, we’ve walked dozens of kilometres, recorded hours of audio and video and consumed many gigabytes of data to bring to you the best bits from the world’s largest mobile technology gathering, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As we prepare to say ‘adios’, here are a few things we’ll remember about the 2015 show. For extended interviews and other video content from MWC click here

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