aerlingus

Yes, Walsh’s deal is safer for Aer Lingus – but big firms can go bust too

So after months of protracted negotiations the Cabinet has agreed to sell the State’s 25% stake in Aer Lingus. Whether it is the right decision for Ireland was always going to be a difficult judgement call. Many observers believe the safest home for a small carrier such as Aer Lingus is as part of larger airline. But big companies can get into difficulties too and just because a firm is large does not make it immune from financial disaster. More …

Fibre-less broadband plan could widen urban rural divide

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Imagine being able to download a High Definition film in just seven short seconds. Or maybe 100 of your favourite artists’ songs in the time it takes to read this sentence. Wouldn’t it be great to have enough bandwidth to be able to watch 200 Netflix movies simultaneously (not that you’d want to)? Or even to upload 200 family photos to Facebook in the blink of an eye. According to Magnet, those are …

Digital Single Market opportunity for EU to lose technophobe label

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent With a market of 500 million people, Europe should be an internet powerhouse. And yet the facts show the reality if far from that. None of the biggest tech companies operating in Europe, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon etc, hail from Europe. And as recent European moves against some of these mostly US based companies show, Europe remains highly suspicious of them. Half the EU population shopped online last year. But just …

Weighing up Google’s €150m investment in European digital news

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s no exaggeration to say the traditional news industry is going through something of an existential crisis right now. Digitisation has brought massive challenges to all media organisations, particularly traditional newspapers, who are struggling to find a sustainable revenue model for the future. Classic subscriptions, leaky and metered paywalls and freemium models are among the various strategies being adopted by media companies around the world, many of whom are fighting for their very …

Startling testimony kicks banking inquiry into life

Brendan McDonagh, the low key boss of NAMA, has done the State some service. His testimony on the first day of the Nexus Phase of the banking inquiry set an important benchmark for other public servants due to give testimony. His contribution was defined by his honest and brutally frank assessment of the chaotic negotiations leading up to the 2008 bank guarantee. This is important because the inquiry will rely on the testimony of public servants to build up a …

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.

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