Russian news reports say that Google has agreed with national authorities to delete links to websites banned in Russia.
The daily Vedomosti reported Thursday that Google has reached an agreement with the Russian state media oversight agency, Roskomnadzor, to regularly receive updated lists of banned sites and delete links to them upon review. The newspaper says Google has already removed about 70 percent of the banned websites from its search results.
The RIA Novosti news agency quoted Roskomnadzor as saying it has established a “constructive dialogue” with Google.
Last December, Roskomnadzor fined Google 500,000 rubles ($7,600) for failing to delete links to the banned sites. It threatened to cut access to Google if it fails to comply with the demand.
“We’re committed to enabling access to information for the benefit of our users in Russia and around the world,” Google spokesman Nu Wexler said. The company offered no further official comment.
Mohawk shares up to four-month high
Shares of Mohawk Industries Inc. rose nearly 6 percent Friday to the highest price in nearly four months after the Calhoun, Georgia-based carpet maker reported better than expected results in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Mohawk shares, which plunged in October after the company fell short of analysts forecasts for the third quarter, jumped Friday by $7.58 per share to $135.78 in trading on the New York Exchange following the release of fourth quarter profits that were 3 cents per share above analysts forecasts. Mohawk, the world’s biggest carpet maker, still reported lower net income in 2018 after five previous consecutive years of rising profits.
“Our industry has faced periods with volatile costs and shifts in consumer preferences before and we have always navigated through them to emerge stronger and a more competitive position,” Mohawk CEO Jeff Lorberbaum told industry analysts Friday. “(The) 2018 inflation in the U.S. was primarily driven by increasing material costs, escalating transportation and energy costs and constrained chemical supply. The tight U.S. labor market increased employee turnover which impacted both efficiencies and training costs.”
The higher costs were more than the price increases adopted by Mohawk in the period.
Target updates new app, amid price change criticism
aTarget has modified its smartphone app after a Minneapolis TV station reported that prices displayed on the app changed whenever users approached the retailer’s stores, sometimes rising by hundreds of dollars.
KARE-TV reports the Minneapolis-based retailer recently released an updated version of its app that labels whether the price next to a product is “online” or “in-store.”
The app’s location-tracking function lets users find nearby stores or where specific items are located. But it also appeared to trigger price changes as users entered Target parking lots.
Target said in a statement that the updates to the app make it easier for customers to understand pricing policy. The statement also said every page of the updated app featuring a product will link directly to the company’s policy of matching competitor prices.
FDA to question E-cigarette maker
The head of the Food and Drug Administration is questioning whether electronic cigarette maker Juul and its new partner Altria are following through on pledges to help stop underage vaping.
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Friday posted letters he sent to Juul and Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco products. He called for a joint meeting to discuss whether they are honoring their commitments to the agency.
In response, the two companies said they are moving ahead with plans to stop teens from getting their products.
Late last year, Altria paid nearly $13 billion to purchase a 35 percent stake in Juul, which now controls most of the U.S. e-cigarette market.
Previously, Altria said it was pulling several flavored vaping brands to be “part of the solution.”