Planet Business

Chocolate wars, 8K television sets, ‘Mr Broadband’ and the rise of Symphony

Image of the week: Tough crowd

President Obama this week addressed the Business Roundtable – a bunch of chief executives from large corporations – and he was talking up the national mood. “America’s winning right now. America’s great right now. We can do even better,” he told them, decrying the “perennial gloom and doom” of certain presidential candidates. In his speech, Obama pushed for factions within the Republican party to grow up and drop their insistence that funding for Planned Parenthood be blocked. A partial government shutdown, a sequel to 2013’s shutdown, will take effect from October 1st unless there is a breakthrough in Congress budget negotiations. He must be counting down the days until he’s an ex-president. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

In Numbers: Sachs symphony

$15 Monthly sum that finance messaging service Symphony, backed by Goldman Sachs, is charging clients in a bid to usurp Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters terminals from trading desks.


$1,850 Monthly cost per user of a Bloomberg terminal, according to the Financial Times.

30,000 Network of trial users that Symphony has built up. It has now announced a tie-up with news feed provider Dow Jones, which says Symphony is a “network of arteries that will eventually be driving the lifeblood of Wall Street”.

The Lexicon: 8K

The television market is still getting to grips with 4K, aka ultra HD, but in October, the first 8K screen will go on sale, courtesy of Sharp. The 85-inch device will have a price tag of about €117,000, so it's probably not going to be on anyone's Christmas wish list, notwithstanding all the usual promises about creating a "cinema-like" experience. So far Japan's NHK is the only broadcaster to announce plans to create and broadcast 8K content – it hopes to show all of Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Games in 8K. Every bead of sweat, etc...

Getting to know: Malcolm Turnbull

The man known in Australia as “Mr Broadband” is now its prime minister. Malcolm Turnbull (60) this week ousted Tony Abbott to retake his position as Liberal Party leader and become Australia’s fourth prime minister in about two years. The multimillionaire was previously its minister for communications, hence the nickname. He rose to prominence in the mid-1980s for successfully representing ex-MI5 man Peter Wright in the Spycatcher case, which saw the British government lose its attempt to block publication of Wright’s memoirs.

The list: Chocolate wars

Don’t let anyone tell you anything different: Chocolate is a seriously bitter business with a surprising amount of lawyers involved.

1 Four fingers Cadbury has declared itself "pleased" this week after rival Nestle failed to convince the European Court of Justice that it has the right to trademark the shape of its four-finger KitKat.

2 Colour purple There was joy for Nestle when Cadbury lost its bid to trademark the use of its favourite colour, Pantone 2865c. Nestle's Big Purple One lives.

3 Import pain Hershey, which holds the licence to make "Cadbury" chocolate in the US, has tried to crack down on retailers that import the real stuff from Britain on the grounds that the Hershey's variety is "brown, and that's about it".

4 Bunny battle Lindt has made a chocolate rabbit wrapped in gold foil with a red ribbon since 1952, but knock-offs prevail after it lost a trademark application in 2012.

5 Vegetable fat Spain and Italy were the last holdouts in Europe's long-running chocolate war. They demanded in vain that the British and Irish stuff be called "chocolate substitute" on the grounds it is not made with 100 per cent cocoa butter.