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Today's business and finance round up 23rd August 2021

🔞OnlyFans goes PG

23rd August 2021

Good morning Not content with pioneering in the world of electric vehicles, Tesla has now set it sights on being a major player in the world of robotics. CEO, Elon Musk, has unveiled a new humanoid robot designed to do "boring, repetitious and dangerous" tasks and it could be available as early as next year. The so-called ‘Tesla Bot’ would be 5ft 8in, weigh around 57kg but will be “friendly” and built in such a way that “you can run away from it and most likely overpower it.” How reassuring.

Today's stories

  • OnlyFans goes PG

  • Millions in line for Mastercard repayment

Friday's market moves

FTSE 100  +0.4% 7,088 FTSE 250 +0.6% 23,751

Markets closed the week higher, helped by strength in defensive stocks like household goods. But fears still remain that the spread of the Delta variant could derail the global economic recovery.

ONLINEOnlyFans goes PG

What’s going on?British online creator platform, OnlyFans, has announced it will ban adult content from its site starting in October.

Why is this important?

OnlyFans launched in 2016 and has over 130 million users who pay monthly fees to the 2 million creators on the platform. These creators make exclusive content like photos and videos for their fanbase with OnlyFans taking a cut of the subscription fees. In theory anything from cooking to fitness can be on the site however OnlyFans is famous for its sexually explicit content. Predictably this has attracted controversy with a BBC investigation finding that OnlyFans moderators sometimes allowed illegal content, and moderators were sometimes directed not to shut down successful accounts even if they broke the law. OnlyFans said the reason for shutting down explicit content was “to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers,” aka it was feeling the heat from the likes of Visa and Mastercard, which don't want their services used for potentially illegal material.

TakeawayTThe decision will be felt by the millions of creators who have built businesses on its platform.Those creators have earned more than $5bn in the past six year. Around 16,000 earn at least $50,000 annually, and more than 300 earn at least $1m.With many OnlyFans creators out of an income source it’s likely that other adult entertainment platforms will pop up to serve that need.

CONSUMERMillions in line for Mastercard repayment

If you bought any product from a UK business that accepted Mastercard between 1992 and 2008 then you could be one of the millions of Brits potentially due a refund.The credit card giant is being sued by former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks in Britain’s biggest ever class action lawsuit.46 million people may get repayments of £300 each, they will not have to do anything to receive the payments except await the outcome of the action.Merricks claims that Mastercard overcharged customers with “interchange” fees, which retailers pay to credit card companies whenever a consumer pays with a card, over the course of 16 years since May 1992. He alleges that those fees were passed on to consumers in the form of raised prices by retailers.Merricks said in a statement: "Mastercard has thrown everything at trying to prevent this claim going forward but its efforts have failed.”Unsurprisingly Mastercard came out with fighting words saying: “This claim isn’t being brought by UK consumers but is being driven by lawyers, backed by organisations primarily focused on making money for themselves." Before adding that they are “confident that over the coming months a review of key facts will further significantly reduce the size and viability of the claim."

Stat of the day

Business travel is down 85% on 2019 levels costing the UK £4bn

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Government borrowing shrinks in July

  • Resurgence of virus brings shock retail sales decline in July

  • Marks & Spencer is on the cusp of a long-overdue revival

  • China three children per couple as concern grows over aging population and low birth rate

  • Watchdog raises concerns over Nvidia’s takeover of UK chip designer Arm

  • The new culture of surprise days off

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