France's Benoît Coeuré was officially appointed to join the executive board of the European Central Bank, stepping into the shoes of Italy's Lorenzo Bini Smaghi from January 1st, the European Union announced.

"/> France's Benoît Coeuré was officially appointed to join the executive board of the European Central Bank, stepping into the shoes of Italy's Lorenzo Bini Smaghi from January 1st, the European Union announced.

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BUSINESS

France’s Coeuré appointed to ECB board

France's Benoît Coeuré was officially appointed to join the executive board of the European Central Bank, stepping into the shoes of Italy's Lorenzo Bini Smaghi from January 1st, the European Union announced.

France's Coeuré appointed to ECB board
Bobby Hidy

EU ministers holding talks in Brussels formally approved Coeuré’s appointment for an eight-year term following Bini Smaghi’s resignation, a statement said.

The ECB board, which implements monetary policy for the euro area as laid down by the governing council, is made up of a president, vice-president and four other members, all nominated for non-renewable eight-year terms.

The governing council comprises the six-person executive board plus the governors of the national central banks of the member states of the euro area.

Coeuré’s appointment follows a tug of war between France and Italy.

Bini Smaghi last month announced his resignation after coming under heavy pressure to give up his seat to a French colleague.

When fellow Italian Mario Draghi was appointed to take over as ECB chief to replace Jean-Claude Trichet of France in June, European officials widely speculated that Bini Smaghi would resign in exchange for the top job at the Bank of Italy.

But then Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi chose another candidate, leaving two members from Italy on the ECB board, and France empty-handed.

France had backed Draghi’s candidature for the ECB post but on condition that a French official take Bini Smaghi’s place in line with an unwritten rule that no country should hold two board seats at the same time.

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BUSINESS

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its Amazon.fr website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.

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