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With final approval for its German factory potentially just weeks away, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Elon Musk will make an appearance in the tiny town of Gruenheide this Saturday to host a county fair.
Despite pandemic-related curbs limiting gatherings in Germany to under 5,000 people, Tesla applied for – and got – a permit to have 9,000 at the Oct. 9 ‘Giga-Fest’, after local authorities agreed the event would be COVID safe.
Coming on the heels of officials allowing the company to break ground on its new site before final approval had even been granted, environmental groups say this is just the latest example of Tesla being given too much leeway to act disruptively in Germany – a pattern they worry will continue.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
The pre-approvals Musk has received from local authorities to build without final permission are legal, but rarely used by German firms because of the associated risk: if final approval is not granted, Tesla must pay to tear everything down.
While some bemoan Musk’s approach as throwing German caution to the wind, others – who say German regulations governing planning, jobs and environmental concerns are unnecessarily restrictive – welcome the influence he could have on the country’s business culture.
Gold was down on Thursday morning in Asia, remaining flat as the dollar remained near a one-year high. Investors also kept moves small, with the latest U.S. jobs report due later in the week.
Gold futures inched down 0.10% to $1,760.05 by 12:11 AM ET (4:11 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, inched down on Thursday but remained near a one-year high hit last week.
The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries eased off a more than three-month high overnight but remained above the 1.5% mark.
On the data front, the U.S. ADP non-farm employment change for September was a higher-than-expected 568,000. Subsiding numbers of COVID-19 cases boosted high-contact activity such as dining out at restaurants and travel.
Investors now await the jobs report, including non-farm payrolls, due on Friday to glean clues about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s timeline to begin asset tapering.
In other central bank news, the Reserve Bank of India will hand down its policy decision on Friday.
DuckDuckGo and three other search engine rivals to Google on Thursday urged EU lawmakers to take action against the Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) unit via new tech rules, saying they have yet to see positive results from an antitrust ruling against Google.
The European Commission in 2018 levied a record 4.24- billion-euro ($5 billion) fine on Google for unfairly using Android to cement the dominance of its search engine and ordered it to ensure a level playing field for rivals.
Google subsequently made changes and four months ago said it would let rivals compete for free to be the default search engines on Android devices in Europe.
U.S. search engine DuckDuckGo, Germany’s Ecosia and French peers Qwant and Lilo said lawmakers should use tech rules drafted by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to ensure competition.
“Despite recent changes, we do not believe it will move market share significantly due to its persisting limitations,” they said in a joint letter to European Parliament lawmakers.
They said a preference menu that let users choose their search default when setting up an Android device is not available on Chrome desktop or on other operating systems, and that it is only shown once to users.
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