Merkel, Sarkozy say growth is key
BERLIN – The German and French leaders stressed Monday that boosting economic growth in the 17-nation eurozone is a priority, a recognition that the focus on austerity cuts is unlikely to get Europe out of its debt crisis.
Some analysts fear excessive austerity measures will take a heavy toll on weakening economic growth and push the eurozone into recession this year, in turn hindering the region’s deficit-cutting efforts.
Germany has so far been the biggest proponent of debt reduction as the key for financially weak countries to regain investor confidence. On Monday, however, Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged that austerity alone cannot resolve everything.
“Budget consolidation is one of the legs Europe’s future must be built on, but of course we need a second leg and that is … the question of economic growth, jobs and employment,” she told reporters alongside President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Amazon, Indiana reach tax deal
INDIANAPOLIS – Amazon.com will begin collecting Indiana’s 7 percent sales tax from customers in the state in 2014, under an agreement announced Monday.
The deal with the online sales company could lead to Indiana bringing in at least $20 million more in annual sales tax revenue.
Gov. Mitch Daniels’ office said Indiana will become the fourth state with such a tax collection agreement with Seattle-based Amazon. It follows a lawsuit by Indianapolis-based shopping mall owner Simon Property Group against the state over the issue and a lobbying push on state legislators by traditional retailers to end what they call an unfair price advantage for online retailers.
Apple CEO Cook may top pay list
LOS ANGELES – Tim Cook could well end up being the highest paid CEO in America in 2011, after Apple Inc. granted him a million restricted stock units last August for taking the reins shortly before co-founder Steve Jobs died.
An Associated Press review of a securities filing shows Cook’s pay package was valued at $378 million. The vast majority came in a grant of a million restricted stock units worth $376 million at the time. Half of the stock units will vest in August 2016, the other half in August 2021.
His salary and performance bonus, about $900,000 each, made up much of the rest. He also made $16,520 from company contributions to a 401(k) retirement account and company-paid life insurance premiums.
In comparison, Jobs accepted a $1 annual salary for years and owned about 5.5 million shares, worth about $2.3 billion today.
In total, Cook has about 1.36 million restricted shares that haven’t yet vested and 13,754 regular shares worth a combined $580 million, the filing showed.
Cook’s award is well above that given to Philippe Dauman, the Viacom Inc. chief executive who led the top paid CEOs of 2010 with an $84.5 million haul based on a new contract that granted him shares and stock options.
Cook’s pay package was also valued at more than all of the next nine highest paid CEOs of 2010 combined, or about $356 million.
Netflix unveils video overseas
SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix’s Internet video service made its debut in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Monday as part of a previously announced expansion that is expected to saddle the company with its first annual loss in a decade.
The subscription service will stream TV shows and movies on devices with high-speed Internet connections.
Netflix Inc. is charging 5.99 pounds per month in the U.K. and 6.99 euros per month in Ireland. That translates into about $9 per month. Netflix charges $8 per month for Internet video in the U.S.
Netflix has more than 20 million U.S. subscribers. It also has picked up about 1.5 million subscribers outside the U.S. since it expanded into Canada in 2010 and more than 40 Latin American countries last year.
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