Daily briefing: Google faces €1bn fine, BoJ holds, upskilling America’s youth 

EU officials preparing announcement that company abused search market dominance to build Google Shopping service

Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here

Test your knowledge of this week’s news with the FirstFT quiz

Google is braced for a fine that could top €1bn. EU officials are preparing to announce in the coming weeks that the company abused its search market dominance to build its Google Shopping service. It will be the first sanction by a leading competition regulator on the way the group operates. 

Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition commissioner, sparked transatlantic tensions with a record €13bn tax bill for Apple last year, and the Google case could do the same. More important to Google than the fine, however, will be the potential implications for how it can operate online and build its services beyond a general search. (FT)

In the news

Bank of Japan holds
The country’s central bank kept monetary policy on hold at its June meeting, underscoring its determination to keep policy accommodative even as the economic outlook has shown signs of improvement. (FT)

Russia claims to have killed Isis leader
The Russian defence ministry says it may have killed Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air strike on Raqqa, the jihadi group’s self-declared Syrian capital, late last month. Mr Baghdadi, who formed Isis four years ago, has been pronounced dead several times before, only to re-surface. (Reuters, FT)

US VP lawyers up
US vice-president Mike Pence has hired outside counsel to deal with the FBI’s Russia investigation. Mr Pence is the third prominent White House official — after President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner — who has retained a lawyer. (FT)

Singapore saga looks to third generation
The feud between members of the city-state’s first family has widened to a third generation, with the prime minister’s nephew warning against founding a dynasty in a late-night statement. The family conflict takes place as Singapore’s status as an Asian business hub is coming under pressure from the rise of China and competition from Southeast Asian neighbours. (FT) 

Qatar crisis sparks World Cup fears
Now the diplomatic crisis engulfing the emirate threatens the $500m-a-week infrastructure works needed to make sure Qatar is ready for the tournament in 2022. The FT’s David Gardner warns the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar risks spiralling out of control. (FT)

Test your knowledge of this week’s news with the FirstFT quiz. How many net seats did the Conservatives lose in the UK election?

The day ahead

Trump lays out Cuba policy
The US president will announce a plan to tighten rules on Americans travelling to Cuba and significantly restrict US companies from doing business with Cuban enterprises controlled by the military. The move will roll back a lot of the Obama-era measures that opened the country to US trade and travel. (Reuters)

And over the weekend . . .The Queen celebrates her official birthday in London. Britain’s royal family will join the military Trooping the Colour, or the Queen’s Birthday Parade, at Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall. 

What we’re reading

Facebook wants to be your TV
The social network is searching for its Ice Bucket Challenge moment for longer form video. The company is trying to convince users to watch programmes on the platform, competing with television and online platforms such as Netflix. (FT)

Upskilling America’s youth 
A lack of vocational training programmes and a widening gap between the skills employers need and what students are taught at school, has left the US with a huge skills gap. Companies and government are finally taking action. (FT)

Where climate change is an opportunity 
Nowhere in Europe is under greater threat from rising seas than the Netherlands. But the Dutch have learnt to live with water rather than fight mother nature, and are embracing climate change as an opportunity to innovate their cities and boost their economy. (NYT)

Character assassination 
A play depicting Julius Caesar as Donald Trump has lost sponsors and enraged the president’s supporters. Kate Maltby on the latest battle in the US’s culture war. (FT)

Learning to be casual 
Japanese trading house Itochu is trying to introduce casual Fridays, where employees ditch their suits in an effort to foster a fresher, more flexible work environment. But getting salarymen and women to dress down is surprisingly difficult. (NAR) 

How now, brown cow?
A surprising number of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows — more than 16m people actually. Such agricultural illiteracy has bothered observers in agriculture, nutrition and education for decades but there has been little improvement. (WaPo)

Video of the day

Oliver Stone on how the US misunderstands Putin 
The Oscar-winning film-maker spent 20 hours shooting a documentary with the Russian president, and tells the FT’s Matthew Garrahan that the western world has Vladimir Putin all wrong. (FT)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't copy articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.