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Wednesday Papers: UK regulator rules against Murdoch takeover of Sky

Wednesday Papers: UK regulator rules against Murdoch takeover of Sky

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The UK regulator scrutinising Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7 billion bid to take full control of the pan-European broadcaster Sky has delivered a rebuke to the 86-year-old billionaire, saying the deal would concentrate too much power in the media mogul’s hands.
  • The Times: Apple shipped fewer iPhone X handsets than expected last year, according to estimates, adding to speculation that the company could phase out the smartphone model before the end of the year.
  • Financial Times: EU finance ministers have pledged to revitalise a half-finished project to strengthen eurozone banks, saying the disagreements that stymied progress should be resolved by the summer.
  • Financial Times: WeWork, the US co-working group backed by Softbank’s Vision Fund, has become the largest corporate office occupier in central London, underlining the speed of growth of one of the world’s most highly valued start-ups.
  • Financial Times: France’s Carrefour is to slash thousands of jobs in its home market, cut billions of euros in costs and ramp up digital investment as part of a sweeping strategy to lift growth at the world’s second-largest retailer by revenues.
  • The Daily Telegraph: France is to offer language lessons to London-based bankers and their families in its latest ploy to lure business from the UK capital to Paris after Brexit.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Silicon Valley billionaire Marc Benioff has compared the current crisis of trust facing the tech giants to the financial crisis of a decade ago, urging regulators to wake up to the threat from Google, Facebook, and the other dominant firms.
  • The Times: Eleven countries that have been trying to forge an Asia-Pacific trading alliance finally agreed a revised deal yesterday, despite President Trump pulling out of talks.
  • The Guardian: New York City on Tuesday sued the makers of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and fentanyl that have played a central role in the opioid crisis killing tens of thousands across the nation.
  • The Guardian: Donald Trump’s decision to impose a tariff on imported solar panels will cost the US solar industry about 23,000 jobs this year and risks slowing the growth of clean energy that would help address climate change, renewable energy advocates warned.
  • Financial Times: Isabelle Kocher, chief executive of Engie, says a “fundamental repositioning” is complete at the start of a critical year for the French energy company.
  • Daily Mail: Low-cost airline Easyjet had a successful end to last year, recording an increase in revenue thanks to growth in passenger numbers and the many problems of its rival airlines.
  • Daily Mail: Price cutting for promotional offers created a squeeze on margin forecasts which has prompted a plunge in online retailer N Brown's shares.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Snow and ice brought an unwanted chill to pub company Martson’s which took a £1 million profit hit from the inclement weather.
  • Financial Times: Procter & Gamble, the consumer products giant targeted by activist investors, has raised alarm bells about its long-term profitability, reporting that its discounting strategy had squeezed margins during the most recent quarter.
  • Financial Times: Brussels is poised to censure Qualcomm for abusing its dominance when it paid Apple to use its chips exclusively in its smartphones and tablet devices, in a ruling that could boost the iPhone maker’s multibillion-dollar legal campaign against the chipmaker.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Taxpayer-owned RBS is ditching the London headquarters from which disgraced former boss Fred Goodwin ran his bloated banking empire prior to the financial crisis.
  • The Guardian: Groceries wholesaler Palmer & Harvey had debts of more than £700 million when it collapsed in November, according to an administrators’ report published on Tuesday.
  • The Times: Digital regulators must enforce accountability at the very top of big technology companies because they cannot hope to keep pace with innovation, the new boss of Uber Dara Khosrowshahi has said.
  • Financial Times: AIG’s losses in the financial crisis will allow it to avoid paying years of taxes on profits earned from Validus, the insurer it is buying for $5.6 billion, the group’s chief executive has said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Kazakh oligarch who became the biggest shareholder in London-listed Petropavlovsk last month with a 22% stake has vowed to make “fresh start” with the gold miner - and may even change its name.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Andrex and Kleenex manufacturer Kimberly-Clark is to cut almost one in eight staff worldwide as the consumer goods giant looks to slash costs - raising the prospect of job losses across its portfolio of UK plants.
  • The Guardian: Sainsbury’s is stripping out thousands of management jobs from its stores to save money as it faces an intensifying grocery price war.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Walt Disney has joined the growing list of American businesses handing out extra bonuses in response to Donald Trump's sweeping tax reforms.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Former auditor of scandal-hit insurance software firm Quindell Arrandco Audit, formerly known as RSM Tenon, has been fined £1million and reprimanded by the accounting watchdog for “misconduct” in its handling of the company’s finances.
  • The Times: Mark Gifford, the finace boss of Game Digital, who took up the role at the struggling video games chain in October 2015, has resigned with immediate effect to “focus on his other business and personal interests”.
  • Financial Times: Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk will receive more than $50 billion in compensation if the electric carmaker meets extremely ambitious targets that see its shares rise 12-fold and the business turn a substantial profit.
  • Daily Mail: The cryptocurrency craze looks like going from strength to strength in Europe after the world's biggest trading platform was granted a regulatory licence to operate in the European Union.

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