Blog: Olly WehringSympathy for the Multi-National

Olly Wehring | 9 September 2010

 

The temptation to side with big business has always been one that I've found pretty easy to resist. Stick it to the man, has been my mantra since student days – albeit more quietly these days (right, corporate subscribers?).

But, it's hard not to sympathise – if that's the word – with the multinationals of this world, when I read of India's decision to slap Vodafone with a US$2.6bn charge. The mobile 'phone giant was told by the High Court in Mumbai this week that it is liable for the charge after it acquired local operator Hutchison Essar three years ago.

Vodafone's defence has been that the transaction is not subject to the country's tax rules, because it took place in the Cayman Islands via a string of holding companies. This defence has cut no cloth with the High Court, though.

The aftershocks of the ruling pricked memories of the rumblings last summer, when Diageo had to tread very gingerly in Scotland, for fear of provoking the ire of politicians in the country.

Last year, the challenge laid at Scotland's door was that it was not a friend of big business. “What incentive is there to operate in a country that reacts like that?” was a question I was asked (rhetorically, thankfully) a year ago.

So, India, could you provide me with an answer, please?

What incentive is there to operate in a country that reacts like that?

 


BLOG

Electric cars keep Hennessy up with current trends

It seems even 250-year-old Cognac houses want to be like Google these days....

BLOG

[Checks watch] “I best be heading home”

It's not even available on pre-order yet, but Apple's latest piece of kit has already got a breathalyser app....

BLOG

just-drinks closed for Easter

just-drinks is now closed for the Easter weekend....

BLOG

Diet Coke decline leaves Pepsi sitting pretty

Last year was tough for The Coca-Cola Co. So staff in Atlanta won't be pleased to read that Pepsi has overtaken Diet Coke as the no. 2 soda brand in the US. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?