Business Diary: Facebook calls out the lawyers again

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The Independent Online

Facebook is back on the legal track, having recently won a big payout from a spam email company. It is threatening action against uSocial, an online company that charges businesses for putting them in touch with people listed on Facebook, selling packages of 500 or more friends and fans at a time. "We're not budging," insists uSocial boss Leon Hill.

If you're in trouble and no one else can help...

The appointment of Michel Barnier as European Union commissioner with responsibility for financial services worries many in the City. They assume that the Frenchman will crack down on London in order to favour his domestic allies. The anxious include David Buik of BGC Partners, who reckons Mr Barnier bears an uncanny resemblance to George Peppard, the star of The A-Team's death-defying missions impossible.

Liverpool's loss is Five's football gain

Every cloud and all that. The only British football fans smiling at Liverpool's exit from the Champions League last week were to be found at Five. The broadcaster has the rights to the Europa League, you see, where Liverpool will now be playing. A big audience boost is on the cards.

Thomas Cook says no to Dubai bargains

Those mean swines at Thomas Cook. One of the few positive effects of the Dubai crisis, you might have thought, would be cheaper holidays in the sun-drenched Middle Eastern emirate, above. No chance, says Britain's biggest travel agent, which reckons Gulf tourism won't be hit by Dubai's financial difficulties. In other words, no cheap trips to be had there.

Opportunity knocks for Rics in LibDem plan

Housing experts were almost unanimous yesterday in criticising the Liberal Democrats' plans for a "mansion tax" on homes worth more than £2m. But there was one exception. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the scheme "would be an effective way to raise much needed additional funds", as long as properties are properly valued before the tax is applied. Now which body's members would earn money doing just that?

Number of the day: 10m

Digital radios sold in the UK. It took eight years to reach five million sales in 2007, but they have since doubled