News

Unilever has announced plans to ditch PricewaterhouseCoopers after 27 years and is set to move its  £18 million a year audit to rival KPMG.

Google ran a flurry of April Fools' Day gags, including the announcement of the introduction of a new version of Google Maps which supports the ‘long neglected’ Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

EU gives Google 'weeks' to ease anti-trust concerns

The European Union said today that Google must in ''a matter of weeks" outline steps it is willing to take to ease concerns about alleged abuses of its dominant position in the online search market.

Hamish McRae: Vive l'eurozone – as long as France accepts more austerity

Economic Life: If growth disappoints, both presidential candidates would have to change course

OFT issues break-up warning to banks

The banking sector faces being broken up unless it shows a “step change” in competition, the head of the Office of Fair Trading warned today.

Europe set to block New York Stock exchange merger

The odds of a merger between the stock exchanges of New York and Europe dramatically lengthened last night after it emerged the European Commission competition regulator has recommended blocking the deal.

EU investigates Apple and five publishers over e-book pricing

European regulators have launched an investigation into some of the biggest names in publishing to discover whether, with the help of Apple, they have flouted competition rules over the pricing of electronic books.

Antitrust suit set to scupper AT&T's $39bn T-Mobile deal

US competition authorities moved last night to block a merger of two of the four largest mobile-phone operators in the country, saying the deal could raise prices and reduce services.

Haldanes and Co-op engage in legal battle over shop sale

A war of words and legal actions has broken out between the Co-operative Group and Haldanes. The fledgling supermarket chain has accused the UK's fifth biggest food retailer of wanting to drive it "out of business" after Haldanes bought more than 20 former Somerfield stores from the Co-op in early 2010.

Tyrie livid as Knight refuses to face TSC

In an angry exchange of letters, Andrew Tyrie, the head of one of Parliament's most powerful committees, describes the decision by Angela Knight, the head of the British Bankers' Association, not to appear before or to respond to the committee's inquiry into competition in the industry as "incomprehensible".

Payday loan chief denounces hidden fees of 'oligopoly' banks

Errol Damelin claims his high-interest loan business suits the needs of the Facebook generation

David Prosser: Ofgem's chance to settle the energy row

Outlook It was Centrica's turn yesterday, but ask any of the big six energy providers in the UK about profit margins and customer exploitation and you will get a similar answer: gas and electricity prices in the UK are lower than almost anywhere else in Europe, and countless – 15 or more – regulatory probes into the sector have passed without any substantive competition issues being identified.

EU expected to clear News Corp's Sky bid

The European Commission is expected to clear News Corporation's planned £12bn buyout of BSkyB this week.

The business on...Alistair Buchanan, Chief executive, Ofgem

The man taking on Britain's greedy energy companies at last?

The very same, although you might ask why it has taken so long: Mr Buchanan has run Ofgem, theregulator that polices the gas and electricity companies, since 2003. In his defence, there have been a string of reviews and investigations on his watch. We'll have to see what thelatest probe, unveiled yesterday, comes up with.

David Prosser: No easy answers on bandwidth charging

Outlook The suggestion yesterday from Ed Vaizey, the minister for culture, that Britain might allow internet service providers to charge content providers for the traffic they generate – threatening the principle of net neutrality – is a giant step.

Leading article: Check-out time for Sir Terry

Tesco's share price slid yesterday on the news that Sir Terry Leahy will step down as chief executive officer next year. It is an understandable reaction from investors. Sir Terry has been a phenomenal retailer since he took control of the supermarket chain 14 years ago. Under his direction, Tesco has overtaken Sainsbury's to grab 30 per cent share of the UK grocery market. A grocery business founded on the philosophy of "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" has managed to attract shoppers from across the social spectrum.

Garmin goes for Raymarine

Raymarine urged shareholders to take no action yesterday after its giant American rival Garmin tabled a bid, saying it would pay 15p a share cash for the debt-laden marine equipment manufacturer.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

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This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine