McGraw Hill Textbook Authors Are Ready to Rumble Over Royalties

Rupee gains 11 paise to finish at 73.04 against U.S. dollar

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened at 73.18 and hit an intra-day high of 72.97 and a low of 73.18

The rupee gained for the third straight day and closed 11 paise higher at 73.04 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, supported by sustained foreign fund inflows and weak American currency.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened at 73.18 and hit an intra-day high of 72.97 and a low of 73.18.

It finally finished at 73.04, higher by 11 paise over its last close.

On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 73.15 against the American currency.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 91.84 points or 0.19% higher at 49,584.16, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 30.75 points or 0.21% to 14,595.60.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.11% to 90.26.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth ₹1,879.06 crore on a net basis on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.21% to $55.94 per barrel.

American Airlines Seeks Buyers on the Ground for Onboard Wines

American Airlines Group Inc. is trying to sell some of the wine it’s not pouring on flights by offering bottles for home delivery.

The company is aiming for $40,000 in sales through its Flagship Cellars program this quarter, said Alison Taylor, American’s chief customer officer. Wine usage on its jetliners has tumbled 80% amid the unprecedented travel collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic, American said in an email Thursday.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier hasn’t been selling alcohol in its coach cabins during the pandemic as part of an effort to limit contact between passengers and flight attendants. In addition, sales of premium seats across the industry have been hammered by a plunge in business travel.

Under the program, customers can select from collections of mixed wines, build a custom box or purchase a monthly $99.99 subscription for three wines, including delivery, American said in astatement. The offer is open to anyone who’s least 21, and buyers can also earn miles in the airline’s rewards program.

Twitter Permanently Bans President Donald Trump’s Account

Twitter Inc. permanently banned U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal account for repeated rules violations, marking the most high-profile punishment the social-media company has ever imposed.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company wrote in ablog post on Friday.

The company announced the ban two days after Trump was initially suspended Wednesday for posting a series of tweets that misled users about the presidential election results, and appeared to encourage violent rioters who had mobbed the U.S. Capitol. One included a video message of Trump expressing love for the insurgents and calling the election “fraudulent.”

— With assistance by Matthew G Miller

Crude Oil Futures Settle Higher On Stimulus Hopes

Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday amid hopes the Joe Biden administration will step up stimulus to boost growth, which in turn will result in increased demand for energy.

A weak dollar also contributed to oil’s uptick. However, the increase was limited due to surging coronavirus cases in several countries and on reports saying authorities at many places across the world are looking to tighten lockdown measures to curb infections.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures contracts for February ended up $0.26 or about 0.5% at $53.24 a barrel on expiration day.

WTI crude futures new front-month contract for March settled at $53.31 a barrel, gaining $0.33 or about 0.6% for the session.

Joe Biden already outlined a $1.9 trillion economic relief package last week to jump-start the economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen nominee has also pledged to “act big” on stimulus to reinvigorate the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Weekly oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Energy Information Administration (EIA) are due later today and Friday morning, respectively.

McGraw Hill Textbook Authors Are Ready to Rumble Over Royalties

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McGraw Hill LLC was sued by textbook authors who claim the company has slashed their royalties by unilaterally revising the rules for how they get paid for online versions of their work.

Three of the authors filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the publisher Friday, saying the new rules violate the terms of their contracts and will reduce their royalties by 25% to 35%.

The change involves the way the authors are paid for sales of textbooks and related study materials on McGraw Hill’s online site, Connect. Approximately 53% of McGraw Hill’s billings come from digital products, according to the complaint, which says the company and its affiliates reported total revenue of more than $1.5 billion in 2019.

The company used to pay royalties on the “entirety of revenues” from textbook sales on Connect, but recently announced it would only pay for a portion of the sales, the authors say in the complaint, which was filed in Manhattan federal court. “This maneuver amounts to a bald attempt by McGraw Hill to pass its Connect-related costs to authors.”

McGraw Hill didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment after regular business hours.

The case is Flynn v. McGraw Hill LLC, 21-cv-00614, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).