Eir overcharging, Meta faces record fine and HMV is back

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

The communications watchdog has fined eir’s parent company Eircom almost €2.5 million and ordered it to repay tens of thousands of customers it overcharged over a period of several years. Conor Pope has the story.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is set to hand Facebook owner Meta Platforms a record European Union privacy fine for failing to heed a top court warning aimed at protecting users’ data from the prying eyes of US security services once it’s shipped to servers across the Atlantic.

Seven years after the closure of its remaining stores in the Republic, music retailer HMV will make a comeback to Dublin’s Henry Street this summer, marking its new owners’ first flagship store outside the UK. Laura Slattery reports.

Profits at investment firm Farmer Business Developments approached €18 million last year aided by a record performance from its hotels and a dividend payment from insurer FBD Holdings. Barry O’Halloran has the details.


Cork entrepreneur Norman Crowley has signed a deal with a leading global mining company to retrofit some 8,500 diesel mining trucks into electric vehicles over the next three years, with much of this work to take place at sites in the Republic. Mr Crowley spoke to Ciarán Hancock on Inside Business, a podcast from The Irish Times.

In Net Results, Stephen Bush explains why there is no such thing as a “digital native,” and why that matters for making policy.

Is there a way to more sustainable fashion? Ciara O’Brien speaks to Anushka Salinas, chief operating officer of Rent the Runway.

The High Court has refused to quash two sets of planning permissions for a co-living development off North Great George’s Street in Dublin city, Ellen O’Riordan reports. Mr Justice Richard Humphreys dismissed the proceedings brought by the North Great George’s Street Preservation Society, which comprises local residents, over the permissions granted for alternative schemes of more than 100 units.

Bank of Ireland has unveiled a new savings product with an introductory rate of 1.5 per cent for the first 12 months, as Irish banks come under increasing pressure to pass on some of the recent central bank rate increases to deposit holders. Joe Brennan has the story.

Staying with banking, Cantillon writes on what the so-called proxy advisers have to say about Bank of Ireland’s new pay structures, while also questioning if the Government’s emphasis on reducing greenhouse emissions is anything more than PR.

The chief executive of Regeneron has backed an attempt by US regulators to block Amgen’s $28 billion (€25.85 billion) acquisition of Irish-headquartered rare disease specialist Horizon Therapeutics, as he accused some pharmaceutical companies of abusing their market power to prevent competition.

The UK’s Premier Inn hotel chain has been given the go-ahead for an expanded hotel in the Clerys Quarter site on Dublin’s O’Connell Street. Gordon Deegan has seen the plans.

Gordon also reports that pretax profits at former Sean Quinn hotel, the Slieve Russell, in Co Cavan more than doubled to €5.02 million last year.

A former employee of Dublin GAA club Parnells says the club left him short on his wages when he was laid off for the Covid-19 pandemic – and is now failing to give him his severance pay. Stephen Bourke watched the hearing.

Irish investment house Elkstone has closed a €100 million fund aimed at early stage Irish companies, with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) anchoring it, Ciara O’Brien reports. The fund is aiming to support the new generation of Irish entrepreneurs creating high potential, scalable companies.

The value of Irish goods exports came to €18.8 billion in March with exports of medical and pharmaceutical products accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total, the latest trade numbers show. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has gone through the numbers.

Eoin also reports that house price inflation continued to slow in the face of higher interest rates and broader cost of living pressures in March, while euro zone inflation accelerated to 7 per cent in April, up from 6.9 per cent in March, confirming preliminary data.

Visits by Irish Government ministers to Asia are “gold dust” for Irish businesses operating in the region, helping them to “punch above their weight” in those markets in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, an Irish delegation has heard. Ian Curran is with the delegation in Singapore.

In this week’s tech reviews Ciara looks at the Dyson Zone headphones. Are they worth €850? She also runs the rule over Google’s new foldable Pixel phone

In Innovation, General Motors move to drop the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from some new models raises the prospect of a battle for control of the front seat. What will that mean for consumers?

Finally, Olive Keogh speaks to Alan Craughwell, the founder of Assistiv, which uses technology to help workers complete tasks and promote inclusivity in the workplace.

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