News Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

James Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive containing the cryptographic "private key" needed to access the digital currency

The Investmnet Column: Hard drive

I ntelligent Environments, the Aim-listed software group, is raising pounds 7.5m in a placing at 80p to fund a marketing drive.

Supermarkets set for MMC probe

Supermarkets set for MMC probe

Outlook: Back pass to OFT is Sky's best chance

THEY THINK it's all over. Not at BSkyB they don't. Yesterday brought a fresh round of fevered speculation on what's going to happen to Sky's bid for Manchester United. On Wednesday, The Daily Telegraph reported that the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in an as yet unpublished report had given the Trade and Industry Secretary little option but to block the bid by finding it to be against the public interest, and further, that the MMC was concerned about the enforceability of any conditions that might address those public interest concerns.

City fees are too high, says Byers

THE CITY overcharges quoted companies for raising capital on the equity markets, Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, has concluded.

Outlook: Underwriting

SO THAT'S it then. After a year-long investigation, presumably at a cost of several hundreds of thousands of pounds, the MMC has produced a report on the City underwriting cartel which is a masterpiece of irrelevance and a warning to all of the dangers of overly theoretical thinking on entirely practical matters.

pounds 450m RAC takeover goes to MMC

THE pounds 450m takeover of the RAC roadside breakdown business by an American conglomerate was yesterday referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC).

News Analysis: DTI bars Ladbroke from buying Coral

Betting chain buyout is deemed anti-competitive

Off-licence merger `to avoid MMC'

WHITBREAD AND Allied Domecq are understood to have received confidential guidance that the proposed merger of their Threshers and Victoria Wine off-licence chains will not fall foul of the competition authorities. The size of the deal means it is certain to be examined by the Office of Fair Trading, but industry experts said the guidance had been that a referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission was unlikely.

How to make your pages scream down the line

Web design

Outlook: No thank you, Mr Decaux

PERHAPS it was just wishful thinking that we had seen the final salvoes in the tussle for control of More Group. Or perhaps we Anglo-Saxons simply take a more cautious views of these matters. Either way, few observers expected Decaux, More's French rival, to soldier after its bid for More was referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission last Thursday.

Decaux ups stakes in battle for More

THE bizarre bid battle for More Group, the outdoor advertising group, took another turn yesterday when Decaux, the French group whose pounds 475m bid was last week referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, announced plans to raise its offer if the bid is cleared.

Ladbroke rivals fight bid

RIVALS of Ladbroke have launched an attack on the leisure group's bid to buy the Coral betting chain in an attempt to persuade the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to block the deal.

Underwriting `has monopolies'

THE Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) has provisionally found there are "complex monopolies" operating in the provision of underwriting services for new share issues on the stock market which "prevent, restrict, or distort competition".

TRIED & TESTED; SMALL-SCREEN STARS

Electronic holiday snaps on your home computer. Sounds like science- fiction? Our panel exposes the latest in digital camera technology

Watchdog backs down over halt to gas sales

The gas industry regulator last night dropped its call for electricity companies to stop selling gas to their customers until the start of domestic power competition. The compromise, which averts the prospect of a Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) investigation, was greeted as a victory by some of the 14 electricity suppliers, but provoked an urgent request for clarification from British Gas.
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