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Six-month fixed subscription for HBO
The monthly subscription fee for Netflix, HBO and Viaplay may be the same - DKK 79 - for all three providers, but the terms of the subscription are quite different.
While it is possible to cancel your subscription with Netflix and Viaplay within a month, HBO demands its customers commit to a six-month fixed subscription, according to a statement on HBO Nordic's Twitter profile.
The news is not popular among HBO-Nordic's many Danish followers, who were quick to comment on the statement when it was released early on Wednesday.
"Fail! In 2012 it should be one month's fixed subscription", writes Adam Jensen, while Twitter user Niklas Stephenson writes: "You've lost me as a customer... Sorry".
HBO was to have launched in Denmark at the end of October, but reported last week that the launch had been postponed until the start of November.
SAS savings plan well advanced
According to a press release, SAS is well advanced in its work on a plan that is expected to yield pre-tax savings of around DKK 3 billion.
The plan also includes the sale of non-core activities worth an additional DKK 3 billion.
Trading in the SAS share was suspended yesterday morning following media reports of the savings plan and SAS management's negotiations with a number of banks on the extension of its credit facilities.
At the weekend, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri wrote that Swedish and international banks that have lent the airline group money were considering not extending their credit facilities, which expire this year.
SAS announced in its press release that its financial resources comprise liquid assets of DKK 2.4 billion and credit facilities of DKK 4.7 billion with expiry in June 2013.
The trading suspension was lifted at 11:30 am.
New York Stock Exchange to Open Wednesday
The New York Stock Exchange intends to open as usual on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, but it is testing its contingency plan as well, “just in case,” Larry Leibowitz, the company’s chief operating officer, said Tuesday, according to Reuters.
“As of now, we are shooting hard to open tomorrow and fully expect to do so,” he said in an interview.
Air ticketing practices questioned
It is completely unreasonable that air passengers who buy a return ticket should have their inward journey annulled if, for any particular reason, they do not make their outward journey. This is the opinion of the Danish Consumer Council, which now wants the Danish Consumer Ombudsman to look into the matter.
This week, DR1’s Kontant programme revealed that airline companies and travel agents regard a return journey as a single ticket which is annulled if the outward flight is not taken.
“Although passengers are responsible for knowing the rules, this particular rule is completely unreasonable,” said Vagn Jelsøe, Policy Director at the Danish Consumer Council.
“Agreements cannot include conditions that are patently unreasonable. If you went to court with this sort of condition, the judge could rule that the provision is unreasonable and does not therefore apply,” Jelsøe told DR News.
Jelsøe believes that this is the case with regard to annulled return tickets. Previous rulings by the Consumer Complaints Board and the Package Travel Complaints Board show that it can be worthwhile to lodge a complaint.
Nevertheless, most airline companies and travel agents are implementing this condition, which is why the Danish Consumer Council believes the watchdog should take up the case.
“If the Danish Consumer Ombudsman agrees that the practice is unacceptable, then the airline companies and travel agents will have to stop using this type of condition in their agreements,” said Jelsøe.
Jelsøe maintains that consumers should be able to travel in confidence without having to read ten pages of small print to find out whether there is a condition which they cannot themselves presume.
Liberals slapped 101 new taxes on industry
In the two years that Lars Løkke Rasmussen was prime minister, his government slapped an extra 131 new taxes or duties on Denmark, 101 of which were to a greater or lesser extent paid for by Danish industry, according to Tax Ministry figures.
And as budget negotiations near their final stages, the Liberals have made tax reductions for industry one of their main demands.
The Liberal budget proposal goes as far as saying that “The tax freeze meant that for almost 10 years… companies could confidently carry out investment in the knowledge that taxes and duties would not be increased”.
Confidence, however, does not seem to be the order of the day among many companies and their organisations.
“I don’t think it’s particularly pleasant to hear. It shows that company costs were also increased under the previous government. Each time that extra burdens have been put on industry we have pointed out that this was the wrong way to go,” says Dansk Erhverv CEO Jens Klarskov.
Danish Confederation of Industries Director Tine Roed is also unhappy with the barrage of new duties that were imposed.
“The Liberal-Conservative government had a tax freeze that we were happy with. But that doesn’t alter the fact that we experienced a long list of negative cost measures. Companies felt that the conditions under which they had invested were changed,” Roed says.
Many of the extra burdens on industry came from the tax reform in 2009, which industry welcomed, as it reduced income tax by some DKK30billion which could be used for increased consumption.
But companies paid much of the bill – among other reasons due to the multimedia tax, the tax on labour costs - and the tax on fats, which the Liberals and Conservatives have later regretted.
Green duties were also introduced.
“In the final period of the Lib-Con government, the tax freeze was a pretty lightweight affair. More rhetoric than actual protection,” says Dansk Energi CEO Lars Aagaard.
The Liberals and Conservatives are not the only ones to be denounced – with some of the current government’s dispositions also harvesting criticism. Industry is not least unhappy with a five-fold increase in the NOx duty which was originally imposed under the then Liberal Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.