Oil drops almost 2 to US10739 as fears of military intervention in

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Sep 10, 2013 1:29 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Oil dropped nearly two per cent Tuesday as support grew behind a plan for Syria to cede possession of its chemical weapons in a move to avoid a potential U.S. military strike.Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery fell $2.13, or 1.9 per cent, to close at US$107.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the biggest one-day decline in three weeks.Oil prices have been at elevated levels for two weeks following President Barack Obama’s call for military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in retaliation for what the White House says was a chemical weapons attack against civilians.But on Tuesday, a diplomatic solution seemed at hand after Syria said it had accepted a deal pushed by Russia — and based on comments by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry — to put its chemical weapons under international control for their later dismantling.As the Syrian situation develops, traders will be also monitoring fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.Data for the week ended Sept. 6 are expected to show declines of two million barrels in crude oil stocks and one million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.A report on stockpiles from the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration — the market benchmark — will be out on Wednesday.Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, dropped $2.47, or 2.2 per cent, to US$111.25 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline fell seven cents to US$2.74 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil lost five cents to US$3.07 a gallon and natural gas lost two cents to US$3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) Oil drops almost 2% to US$107.39 as fears of military intervention in Syria ease read more

EU opens case against 6 US movie studios Sky UK for limits

EU opens case against 6 US movie studios, Sky UK for limits on cross-border distribution BRUSSELS – The European Union on Thursday launched an antitrust case against six major U.S. movie studios and British satellite broadcaster Sky UK, in a move that could profoundly shake up the highly lucrative pay-television market in Europe.The EU’s executive Commission has sent a so-called statement of objections to the companies regarding what it says are “contractual restrictions” preventing EU consumers outside Britain and Ireland from accessing the services of Sky UK.“European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channels of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said. “Our investigation shows that they cannot do this today.”The companies involved are all household names and produce some of the most popular — and profitable — movies around.In addition to Sky, which has cornered a large chunk of the British pay-TV market through its acquisition of sports and movie rights, the Commission sent its objections to NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney and Warner Bros.In a statement, the Commission said it found clauses requiring Sky to block access to films through its online or satellite pay-TV services to consumers outside Britain and Ireland — so-called “geo-blocking.”As well as preventing consumers around Europe from accessing Sky’s services, the Commission says contract clauses that grant “absolute territorial exclusivity” also run counter to the ideals of a free market.It also said it found some contracts requiring studios to prevent their services from being made available in the two countries to companies other than Sky, another potential restrictive practice.“We believe that this may be in breach of EU competition rules,” Vestager said.In a reaction, the Walt Disney Company said that “the impact of the Commission’s analysis is destructive of consumer value and we will oppose the proposed action vigorously.”“Our approach is one that supports local creative industries, local digital and broadcast partners and most importantly consumers in every country across the EU,” the Disney statement said. Other U.S. studios either declined to comment or did not immediately answer requests for comment.The charges, if upheld, run counter to one of the EU’s cornerstones — that of removing barriers to trade within its borders. They also raise questions for other European broadcasters.The Commission, which wields vast powers when it comes to antitrust and anticompetitive practices in the EU, confirmed it is also looking into similar cases including Canal Plus of France, Sky Italia of Italy, Germany’s Sky Deutschland and DTS of Spain. Together, the five nations represent over 300 million consumers in the wealthiest trade bloc on earth.The probes all started at the same time in January 2014, but the U.K. investigation was the first to reach the stage of an official, legal statement of objection.“We continue to examine cross-border access to pay-TV services in these member states,” said Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso.If upheld, the charges could change the way subscription television services are paid for and watched throughout the 28-country EU. With pay-TV stations largely operating within national boundaries, there are potential big repercussions for a market of more than 500 million consumers.The firms named Thursday now have the right to respond. There is no legal deadline for the Commission to complete antitrust inquiries.If the Commission decides that antitrust rules have been infringed, companies can be forced to pay a fine which can theoretically go as high 10 per cent of gross revenue.In a statement, Sky acknowledged receipt of the Commission’s objections and said it will “respond in due course.”___Jill Lawless contributed from London, Jake Coyle from New York FILE – This Dec. 18, 2014, file photi, shows a Sony Pictures Entertainment studio lot entrance from Culver Blvd. in Culver City, Calif. The European Union announced Thursday, July 23, 2015, that it has opened an antitrust case against six major U.S. movie studios, including Sony, for what it sees as a restriction of trade within the 28-nation bloc because consumers outside Britain and Ireland are prevented from tapping into their products through Sky UK. The other studios include Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File) by Raf Casert, The Associated Press Posted Jul 23, 2015 4:19 am MDT Last Updated Jul 23, 2015 at 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more