Good morning. Amsterdam’s city council has taken the unusual decision to launch an anti-tourism campaign to put off young British men. Brits aged 18 to 35 searching online for stag dos and drinking tours in the city will be shown videos threatening fines and criminal records for rowdy visitors. It comes after years of people complaining of drunken UK visitors urinating in public, throwing up in canals, stripping off and engaging in drunken brawls.
Royal Mail on the brink
The Royal Mail has warned that if it doesn’t reach a deal with the 115,000 postal workers represented by the Communication Workers Union, then it could go into a special administration. Long-running pay and condition talks between the lossmaking postal service and the union are on the brink of collapse. Last year strike action delayed post for millions of households and businesses during the peak festive season. Royal Mail announced 10,000 job cuts in October to trim its losses. But bosses say further walkouts could lead to even more redundancies. If the company was to fall into administration then the government would have to step in to run the service. The last major company put into special administration was Bulb, the failed energy supplier, which was sold to Octopus Energy at the end of last year.
Ovo eyes Shell
Ovo Energy is reportedly looking to acquire Shell’s UK household gas and electricity business in a move that would see it overtake rival Octopus Energy as the country’s number two provider. In January Shell announced its intent to leave the domestic utility business in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany in the wake of "tough market conditions". In the UK Shell supplies 1.4m homes with energy and about 500,000 with broadband.
Splitting into six
Chinese tech giant Alibaba announced plans to split its $220bn empire into six units that will individually raise funds and explore stock market listings. Each division would specialise in areas like e-commerce, cloud computing and logistics. The company says the aim is to improve organisational efficiency and deliver more value for shareholders, who have watched its stock price tank 70% over the last couple of years after the Chinese government cracked down on the tech sector, which included a $2.8bn fine on Alibaba for alleged anti-competitive practices. Analysts believe the move could help improve the company’s relationship with the Chinese government with the announcement coming just days after Alibaba’s founder, and often regime-critical billionaire, Jack Ma returned to his home country for the first time since 2021.
U-turning: Adidas has withdrawn its opposition to a three-line Black Lives Matter trademark.
Cutting back: Consulting giant McKinsey is embarking on a rare round of major job cuts, with plans to eliminate about 1,400 roles.
Retail bounce: High street retailer Next reported a better-than-expected jump in profits and said it would not need to increase prices by as much as previously thought.
Walking out: Fresh strikes have been announced by workers at the DVLA in the long-running civil service dispute over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.
Tightening the belt: Facebook owner Meta is planning to lower bonus pays for some employees, and assess staff performance more frequently.
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Number Of The Day
How much a month the South Korean government will give families to have a baby. The yearlong assistance is the country’s latest attempt in a $200bn-and-growing quest to increase its alarmingly low birth rate.