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

MMC calls in watchdog over investigation into British Gas

The gas watchdog, Ofgas, has been called back for a last-minute hearing before the Monopolies and Mergers Commission as part of its investigation into British Gas's pipeline charges, making it almost certain that the MMC's conclusions will not be made public until after the election.

MMC referral deals blow to Sears' ambition

Sears' restructuring plans ran into fresh problems yesterday when the Government said it would be referring Littlewoods' proposed acquisition of the Freemans mail order business to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

MMC in firing line over Bass probe

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission has been hit by a row over a senior member of its high-level team investigating brewer Bass's pounds 200m takeover of rival Carlsberg-Tetley.

Gulf bid for Clyde escapes MMC referral

Gulf Canada's pounds 432m bid for Clyde Petroleum was given the go-ahead by the Department of Trade and Industry yesterday, which said it had no plans to refer the offer to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. The decision increases the pressure on Clyde to convince investors that the 105p-a-share offer represents a dramatic undervaluation of the oil producer's potential.

National Express to comply with MMC

National Express yesterday agreed to give undertakings on price and service levels on five coach routes between London and the North after the Monopolies and Mergers Commission ruled that its takeover of the competing rail service, Midland Main Line, was against the public interest, writes Michael Harrison.

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MMC report contained threat, says British Gas

The row between British Gas and the industry regulator, Clare Spottiswoode, continued yesterday after the company claimed the terms of her formal reference to Monopolies and Mergers Commission of its pipeline charges could be interpreted as a threat.

Regulator decides against wider probe into TransCo

OFGAS, the gas regulator, has decided not to broaden the terms of its reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission into British Gas's pipeline business.

Outsiders vital to gas inquiry

Evidence from external consultants used by Ofgas over its pricing proposals for British Gas's pipeline business, TransCo, could prove crucial in the forthcoming Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry.

British Gas opts for MMC inquiry

British Gas is expected this week to seek a reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to settle its long-running row with regulator Ofgas over price controls for its TransCo pipeline business.

FirstBus bid for Scottish firm goes to MMC

FirstBus's attempt to become Britain's biggest bus company was put on hold yesterday after its bid for SB Holdings, the parent company of Strathclyde Buses, was referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Chip theft feeds the spot market

While most microprocessors are taken at gunpoint, most computer memory or Single Inline Memory Modules (SIMMs) are stolen from break-ins. These components also make their way back to the spot market. However, according to police on both sides of the Atlantic, they are first fenced through the computer trade press or in specialist classified advertising publications.

Electricity dispute to be referred to MMC

Northern Ireland Electricity yesterday threw down the gauntlet to the industry regulator by asking for its dispute over a tough new price formula to be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. During the day a furious row developed between the two sides as the watchdog, Offer (NI), accused the company of trying to put up prices to consumers.

The Ofgas climbdown gives very little away

Clare Spottiswoode may sometimes come over a bit like a giddy schoolgirl, just aching to show the boys in the top class that she cannot be pushed about, but her handling of the TransCo price review promises to be an object lesson in how to get your regulatory way.
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