Business Briefs – January 24, 2018

Dollar Tumbles After U.S. Treasury Chief Welcomes Weaker Value

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – The U.S. treasury chief has welcomed a weaker value in the dollar, breaking with a past commitment by the U.S. government to back a strong dollar. The comments led to a sharp drop the currency Wednesday. During his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Steven Mnuchin said that: “Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities.”

In Davos, European Leaders Defend Free Trades

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – European leaders have come to the defense of free trade and global cooperation, against any U.S. lurch toward protectionism as top economic officials in the Trump administration made the case for a series of tariffs, ahead of the much-ballyhooed arrival of the president to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Starbucks Gives Workers Raises, Stock Grants Due to Tax Law

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is giving its U.S. workers pay raises and stock grants this year, citing recent tax reform. The coffee chain says all employees will soon be able to earn paid sick time off, and the company’s parental leave benefits will include all non-birth parents. Starbucks Corp. says the changes affect about 150,000 full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried employees, most of whom work as baristas or shop managers.

EU Fines Qualcomm $1.23B for Paying Apple to Use Its Chips

BRUSSELS (AP) – European regulators fined Qualcomm $1.23 billion after concluding the U.S. mobile chipmaker bribed Apple to stifle competition by using its products exclusively in iPhones and iPads. The penalty announced Wednesday marks the latest blemish on Qualcomm, whose business tactics have been portrayed as illegal abuses of power in lawsuits filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Apple. Qualcomm says it will appeal the EU’s decision.