Ride-hailing app Uber is merging its Chinese operations with its biggest rival in the region, Didi Chuxing, signalling an end to a long-standing and expensive rivalry.
Didi has confirmed earlier reports of a deal between the two, saying it will acquire Uber's China assets. In return, Uber will take a 17.7 per cent stake in Didi, while Uber China's shareholders will take a 2.3 per cent stake in Didi.
Didi did not confirm the value of the deal, which had been earlier reported at $35bn (£26bn).
Didi will also take a minority equity stake in Uber as part of the deal.
Cheng Wei, Didi's chief executive, will join the board of Uber, while Uber chief Travis Kalanick will join the Didi board.
Uber China will remain a separate brand, but the management teams and technology of the two companies will be integrated.
China has been the scene of a battle for market share for some time now - and Uber last year raised over $1.2bn in a bid to put Didi Chuxing - then Didi Kuaidia - under pressure.
However, earlier this year, Uber boss Travis Kalanick said the tech firm was losing more than $1bn a year in China due to competition with its rival.
Didi Chuxing, which is backed by Apple, recently raised billions of dollars from a range of investors, including a $600m boost from insurer China Life.
“Didi Chuxing and Uber have learned a great deal from each other over the past two years in China’s burgeoning new economy," said Wei.
As a technology leader deeply rooted in China, Didi Chuxing is constantly pushing the frontier of innovation to redefine the future of human mobility. This agreement with Uber will set the mobile transportation industry on a healthier, more sustainable path of growth at a higher level.
Apple could be handed a bill of more than €1bn (£853m), as the European Commission is set to announce it has ruled against the tech giant's tax dealings in Ireland.
European officials have been concerned Apple has benefited from generous tax policies since 2014 because of its size as an employer in the country. Apple employs more than 5,000 people in Ireland.
Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is set to announce the findings tomorrow, but it is expected the EU will recommend a figure north of €1bn for Apple's tax bill in the country, according to Reuters, with the final sum to be calculated by Irish authorities.
A European Commission spokeswoman declined to comment.
Both Apple and Ireland's government have denied any wrongdoing. Apple did not respond to request for comment, although chief executive Tim Cook has previously suggested the iPhone maker would challenge any finding against it.
Speaking to the Washington Post this month, Cook said: “I hope that we get a fair hearing. If we don’t, then we would obviously appeal it.”
The EU's loss is the UK's gain for trade deals, as the country now finds itself first in line for a transatlantic hookup, one expert has said.
The comments come after Germany's economy minister and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said over the weekend that talks to forge a trade deal between the US and the EU – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – had all but collapsed.
"The negotiations with the United States have de facto failed although nobody really admits to it," he said, pointing out that, despite 14 rounds of negotiations, not a single joint statement had materialised.
Assessing what the situation meant for the UK, Dr Madsen Pirie, president of the Adam Smith Institute, said: "It is obviously easier for one country to negotiate a trade deal than it is for 27 and, far from being at the back of the queue, the UK now moves to the front of the queue in reaching a trade deal with the US."
Meanwhile, Ben Digby, Confederation of British Industry international director, remarked:
As government negotiates our exit from the EU, a clear strategy will be needed to boost trade with partners, old and new, across the globe. Markets should be carefully prioritised, in consultation with business, to lay the foundations for deep and comprehensive future trade and investment relationships, and the US must be at the top of that list.
However, Allie Renison, head of Europe and trade policy at the Institute of Directors was more sceptical.
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"It is perfectly plausible to extrapolate from these struggles that the UK could likely to do a deal faster with the US, but our special relationship is unlikely to render us any more able to secure a better more comprehensive deal than the EU is already negotiating in terms of obtaining better access to US markets," she said.
Meanwhile, Pirie added the stalled talks between the EU and US did not spell doom for the UK securing favourable access to the Single Market. "We have been in the Single Market," Pirie said. "We have had trade relations with the EU. The US was trying to reach that deal. We've already been part of that deal and therefore we'll be treated differently. It will be easier for us than it was for the Americans."
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However, a European Commission spokesperson hit back at Gabriel's suggestions the EU-US trade deal was now a no-go.
"It is worth mentioning that although trade talks take time, the ball is rolling right now, and the Commission is making steady progress in the ongoing TTIP negotiations," the spokesperson said.
London is in desperate need of new sewage capacity, according to experts, who welcomed a second investigation into the Thames Tideway “super sewer” on transparency grounds.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has said it will publish a second study into the £4.2bn infrastructure project in the autumn, when construction on the 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel is due to start.
“There’s no doubt that London needs more sewage capacity, which we’re currently exceeding,” said Dan Lewis, senior adviser on infrastructure policy at the Institute of Directors.
“We welcome the transparency the investigation will bring. When you have big projects like these it is important to have as many people look at it as possible. The powers that be have said a second one is necessary, let’s see what it says.”
The NAO has said it will examine the choice of the Thames Tideway Tunnel over alternative options, as well as exploring the risks posed to customers and taxpayers.
The super sewer will be delivered by a licensed infrastructure provider, Tideway, which is owned by a consortium of investors and pension funds, and includes delivery partners such as Thames Water.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
"The Thames Tideway Tunnel was chosen as the only way of dealing with the problem of sewage capacity in the timescale required," a spokesperson for Tideway told City A.M.
“Ofwat, Thames Water and the government have all agreed that having this infrastructure provider delivery model was the best way of keeping the costs down for customers."
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Historically, the cost burden to Thames Water customers was expected to be an extra £70 to £80 per year.
However, the delivery model the company has opted for has slashed that cost to between £20 to £25 per customer each year, which will be paid for the "foreseeable future".
Tideway also told City A.M. that risks the tunnel has been rumoured to pose, such as damaging the foundations to Big Ben or flooding the London Underground, are ill-founded.
"We are totally confident it poses no threat to Big Ben or to flooding the tube given the depth we will be tunnelling at," Tideway's spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for the NAO said the new study is “likely to be a routine follow-up investigation” to its 2014 early review.