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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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

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