THE BUZZ GLOBAL BUSINESS ERIC SCHMIDT TO STEP DOWN Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, will step down in January and serve only as a technical advi- sor. Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001 and served as its Chief Executive for a decade, will continue to be on the company’s board. CRYPTO FOUNDER EXITS Charlie Lee, who had developed Litecoin in 2011, sold and donat- ed his entire stock of crypto during a 75-fold rally, reports Bloomberg. Lee, however, said in his Reddit post that the sale does not indicate his loss of faith in crypto. Instead, it is a timely measure to avoid a con- ﬂ ict of interest when he speaks candidly about the digital cur- rency on social media platforms. EU DEADLINE FOR BREXIT TRANSITION EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the post-Brexit transition should logically end on December 31, 2020, the last day of the EU’s current sev- en-year budget. Britain will have to follow all EU rules during this period and will lose all voting rights when it ofﬁ cially leaves the EU in March 2019. Transition talks are expected to start in January 2018. FACEBOOK’S VIDEO PUSH Universal Music Group has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Facebook that will allow Facebook and Instagram users to deck up their social videos with clips from Universal’s catalogue sans the threat of copyright vio- lation. Universal signed a similar deal with YouTube a few days ago. The deal marks Facebook’s big push into video, helping it compete better with the likes of YouTube. 14 I BUSINESS TODAY I January 14 I 2018 DIDI RAISES $4 BILLION Uber’s Chinese counterpart Didi Chuxing is ﬂ ying high with a new round of funding worth $4 billion. Didi, China’s biggest ride-hailing app, bought rival Uber China in 2016. It will utilise the latest funding to scale up AI-led smart transpor- tation and develop a service network for electric cars. SETBACK FOR UBER The European Court of Justice ruled that the ride-hailing app is a taxi company and not a digital platform enabling transporta- tion as it claims, based on which Uber seeks relaxation from local regulations. The case followed a complaint from a professional taxi drivers’ association in Barcelona that said Uber’s use of non-pro- fessional drivers in Spain had led to unfair competition.