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Computer chip maker Infineon may relocate; Interest in visiting Germany on the rise; Germans prefer DVDs over VHS.

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Infineon may move to Switzerland to avoid paying German taxes.

Infineon considers leaving Germany

The computer chip producer Infineon has threatened to relocate its headquarters if Chancellor Schröder goes through with proposed tax changes. Industry insiders say CEO Ulrich Schumacher is considering moving Infineon from Munich to Switzerland. Infineon has been deliberating whether to move for months with an eye on lowering its tax burden. "Compared to our foreign competitors, we already have tax disadvantages that are hardly acceptable anymore," Schumacher told Reuters recently. Last year the firm did not pay any taxes due to operative losses of billions of euros.

German tourism hardly effected by Iraq conflict

The Iraq war had little effect on tourism to Germany the German National Tourist Board (GZT) said on Monday. The number of tourists from Europe and overseas rose significantly in January and dipped only briefly after the military operation in Iraq started, GZT head Ursula Schörcher said at the Germany Travel Mart convention in Chemnitz. GZT offices outside Germany registered an increasing number of requests for information since Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled. Foreigners spent the night in Germany more than 37.7 million times in 2002 according to the German Federal Statistical Office, 0.5 percent less than the previous year.

DVD more popular than VHS

German consumers increasingly prefer to buy movies on DVDs rather than VHS cassettes, according to a new poll. The survey commissioned by the German Association of Audiovisual Media (BVV) predicted that 53 million films on DVDs would be sold in 2003 as opposed to 24 million video cassettes. Last year 35.5 million German consumers purchased DVDs and 28.6 million bought video tapes. While the sale of DVDs brought in €713.3 million ($783.7), an increase of 75 percent over the previous year, VHS sales were worth €327.5 million or 16.8 percent less than in 2002. The first film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was the most sold DVD in Germany. The German western satire "Manitou's Shoe" sold best on video tape.