News

The City had its eye on the break-up of consumer goods giants yesterday as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were in the spotlight.

French fine firms for fixing prices of laundry powder

France's competition authority has slapped fines totalling €361m (£309m) on Colgate Palmolive, Henkel and Procter & Gamble for fixing prices of washing powder in France from 1997 to 2004.

The Business On... Paul Polman, chief executive, Unilever

The ethical businessman?

Unilever staff prepare for strike

Workers at consumer goods giant Unilever are finalising plans for their first ever strike as part of a widespread day of action over pensions.

Reckitt fined €24m for price fixing laundry products

Reckitt Benckiser has been fined €24m by the German cartel office for fixing prices on dishwashing and laundry products with its German rival Henkel.

Unilever warns about rising commodity prices

Rapid growth in emerging markets helped Unilever post its strongest quarterly revenue growth for three years yesterday. But the consumer goods giant warned higher commodity prices means its full-year margins will be flat or lower.

The filth element: Why we're getting dirtier

We're buying fewer cleaning products and finally getting our hands dirty. Bring on the squalor, says Rhiannon Harries

Unilever sells Chicken Tonight

Unilever has sold its Chicken Tonight and Ragu sauce brands to Symington's, the food group behind Golden Wonder snacks.

Unilever's sales surge in the second quarter

Unilever, the consumer goods giant, delivered second-quarter revenues ahead of City expectations, boosted by price hikes and a strong performance in western Europe and emerging markets.

China fines Unilever after customers clean it out

Just talking about the problem of inflation has got Unilever into hot water in China, where the authorities fined it 2 million yuan (£177,000) yesterday for saying in March that it planned to raise the cost of its personal care products.

Commodity price surge quickening, warns Unilever

Unilever, the consumer goods company that makes everything from Dove soap to Ben & Jerry's ice cream, warned yesterday that it would be hit by higher commodity costs during 2011, with vegetable oil and chemical prices rising particularly sharply.

The Week Ahead: BP's figures to reveal effect of rising oil prices

It may be a severely curtailed week on the markets, but there are still plenty of updates for investors to get their teeth into, including the latest figures from BP. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico disaster, so the oil giant will be hoping tomorrow's first-quarter results bring it some cheer.

Market Report: Takeover talk drives up Stagecoach shares

The rumour mill cranked into action yesterday, driving Stagecoach up the mid-tier index after speculation swirled that it could be in line for a potential bid.

Unilever and P&G fined €300m for price-fixing

European regulators have ordered Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tide, Gain and Era washing power brands, and Unilever, whose brands include Omo and Surf, to pay fines totalling more than €300m (£267m) for their part in a cartel that fixed detergent prices across eight European countries.

Unilever and Procter & Gamble fined over price collusion

Consumer goods giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble have been slapped with fines totalling 315.2 million euros (£280.5 million) after they colluded to fix the price of washing machine detergent powder.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project