Monthly Archives: August 2017

Amazon to Move Into Health Sector

Amazon recently decided to enter the health industry, despite some misgivings.

CEO of Walgreens Stefano Pessina believes the health sector is too complicated to be a good market for Amazon.

Amazon has “opportunities around the world and in other categories, which are much, much simpler than health care, which is a very regulated business,” he said.

However, other industry leaders disagree. Former Amazon director Curtis Kopf now works at Premera Blue Cross as senior vice president, and thinks the move is plausible. Having been involved in some of Amazon’s previous projects, such as digitizing every book every printed, have demonstrated to Kopf that seemingly impossible tasks often bear fruit.

“At this point, I don’t think there’s anything they would be afraid to do,” Kopf said in an interview, referring to Amazon’s latest move. “”Every industry has thought that Amazon wouldn’t disrupt them,” he pointed out.

Aaron Martin, also a former Amazonian, has also shifted into health at Providence St. Joseph Health. He still has ties with Amazon, and has confirmed that a large portion of his current team used to work for the company. Martin thinks Amazon’s expansion into health is quite strategic.

“At Amazon, we learned to pick our battles and didn’t look at anything that was less than $500 million,” said Martin. “Meanwhile, health care is a fifth of the economy,” he said. “Amazon could build the compliant infrastructure but let entrepreneurs come in and do the heavy lift.”

Connecticut and the Changes for Corporate Taxpayers

Changes are being implemented in rules for Connecticut’s corporate taxpayers.  Earlier this year, on April 18, a Special Notice 2017(1) was issued by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Service (DRS).  This is applicable to both individual and corporate taxpayers.

These changes are not so simple to understand.  It is thus advisable for taxpayers to employ a local Connecticut financial advisor company such as BCI Financial Corporation, Connecticut Financial or Essex Financial Services to get the complete lowdown on how to proceed.  Making an error with new laws will ultimately cost an individual/corporation a lot more than initially using a company such as Connecticut’s Essex Financial.

People at these local firms make it their business to fully comprehend the implications of such changes and are therefore able to accurately counsel taxpayers conducting their business transactions.  These new amendments to the law impacts those working in multiple jurisdictions as well as Connecticut’s recent apportionment modifications.

Essex Connecticut is one firm that can advise on the new rules within the Special Notice 2017(1) which came into effect for taxpayers for tax years on or after January of this year.  Corporate taxpayers are now required to be restricted in the use of a single sales factor appointment formula simultaneous to the apportionment rules for tax years that begin on or after January 1, 2016.

Disney to Remove Movies from Netflix, Launch Separate Streaming Service

Disney has recently announced that it will be removing its movies from online streaming platform Netflix, and launching its own direct streaming service instead. The new branded direct-streaming service is expected to launch in 2019, beginning in the US and later branching out to international viewers as well.

According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, Disney had a good relationship with Netflix. The company’s movies, which include all films made by both Disney and Pixar, will remain on the platform until the end of 2018, at which point they will be moved to the private service alongside expected films such as Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4, as well as a wide array of other exclusive movies and TV shows. Disney also plans to launch its own ESPN video streaming platform early next year, offering MLB, NHL, MLS and more. Marvel TV shows will remain in the Netflix library.

Disney has invested in BAM Tech, acquiring the majority of the company for $1.58 billion, in order to support its new service.

“This represents a big strategic shift for the company,” said Iger during an interview with CNBC. “We felt that having control of a platform we’ve been very impressed with after buying 33 percent of it a year ago would give us control of our destiny.”