The business end: the biggest business stories for Friday, January 22

Former Woolworths chairman backs Mitre 10, Home merger

by Sue Mitchell

Former Woolworths chairman John Dahlsen says Woolworths’ exit from the $45 billion home improvement market could boost competition if regulators approve a merger between wholesalers Mitre 10 and Danks and clamp down on Bunnings’ expansion.

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Grown woman with PhD wants to be allowed to pick her own super fund

by Sally Rose

Dr Rhiannon Pilkington is the first to admit she is no superannuation expert. But the 29-year-old public health academic believes that is not a reason she, like roughly 2 million other Australians, should not have the right to choose her own fund.

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The job Australians don’t want

Troubled retail giant Woolworths is set to be run by a foreigner after a search for a local executive to head the chain came up empty-handed.

In surprisingly frank comments, Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns has admitted he invited several Australians to consider the job to replace Grant O’Brien but none were interested in even interviewing for the role.

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The real reason Netflix is cracking down on VPNs

​by Dominic White

It’s a rare thing when a high-profile company changes its position on a key issue overnight. So Netflix’s announcement on January 15 that it would take steps to stop customers streaming shows that aren’t officially available in their country came as a big surprise to many observers.

Click here to read the full story.

A Hillary Clinton-style tax on Australia’s rich is a bad idea

by Nassim Khadem

We shouldn’t tax the rich more. Hear me out before passing judgement.

In the United States, Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton wants to raise tax rates on those earning over $5 million a year by 4 per cent.

The “fair share surcharge” is among other proposals to close tax loopholes that allow multimillionaires to pay lower tax rates than American middle-class families.

But it only applies to 0.02 percent of taxpayers. And in an Australian context it makes little sense.

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ASX posts weekly gain as BHP rallies

Australian shares finished the week in positive territory as commodity prices continued to lift from recent record lows, aided by signals from Europe and Japan that central banks will add to stimulus if needed to boost the global economy.

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ATO crackdown on rental properties, holiday homes

by Nassim Khadem

Australians who rent out their holiday homes for just a few weeks a year, but try to claim full-year deductions on their tax returns have come under fire from the Australian Taxation Office.

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Social Playground’s million-dollar tennis selfie business

by Cara Waters

Attendees at the Australian Open are queuing up to get a printed version of their selfies thanks to technology created by Sydney small business Social Playground.

Click here for the full story. 

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