THE NEWS WRAP: Google chairman dismisses tax avoidance critics

Google chairman and start-up investor Eric Schmidt has brushed off criticism of the search giant’s tax avoidance, saying “It’s called capitalism.”

 

Schmidt said he was “very proud” of the structure set up by Google that saw it avoid US$2 billion in global taxes by putting revenue into a Bermuda-based subsidiary.

 

Australia productivity dip laid bare

 

Australia has become the developed world’s least efficient manufacturing nation, according to a new US study.

 

The Australian Financial Review reports that the US Bureau of Labour Statistics placed Australia last among 19 developed countries, due to a sharp dip in productivity in 2011.

 

ACCC primed for new year crackdown

 

The consumer watchdog is set to conduct a new year crackdown on online voucher rip-offs and confusing phone and utility contracts.

 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it will continue to keep an eye on door-to-door selling but was switching focus after receiving a raft of complaints this year about unfair contracts and dodgy vouchers.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.02% to 13,245.45. The Australian dollar was up to US105 cents.

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