FTSE100 landlord British Land
Two top execs at British Land are going to be standing down at the end of March because British Land is going to combine the offices division and the retail, leisure and residential division into one single entity as part of a strategy reshuffle.
The company wants to move towards a “mixed campus” idea where space is increasingly a combination of shops, homes and office space and away from standalone retail property as competition and costs have been increasing in the last few years.
I personally think that this is where the future lies because such developments will be more self-sustaining as the areas of retail, residential and offices become their own hub that also attracts outsiders.
I believe that if Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley manages to buy HMV and Debenhams to add to last year’s purchase of House of Fraser and all his other brands, he could change the face of traditional UK retail – and it seems to me that he would have all the right ingredients without the baggage that landlords like British Land have.
Does he have the appetite to see this through, I wonder?
Google’s fine from the French regulator
The second thing I wanted to talk about today was Google getting a 50 million euro fine from the French regulator for breaching GDPR on data transparency.
The maximum fine for breaching GDPR is 4% of annual turnover, which in Google’s case could be as much as 4 billion euros, so 50 million is paltry in comparison.
However, this is the biggest fine so far under GDPR rules and follows the Italian regulator fining Facebook 10 million euros last months for misleading users over data practices.
It will be interesting to see how the internet giants react to this, but it could be the sign of things to come – which is great for the consumer but less good for the companies that use the data to make money.