What the other papers say this morning - 02 May 2014


Ebay settles DoJ ‘no poach’ probe
Ebay is the latest Silicon Valley company to settle with US authorities over allegations it struck illegal agreements with rivals to not hire their employees. The ecommerce company will pay California $3.75m, some of which will go to compensating employees affected by a so-called “no poach” agreement between eBay and financial software firm Intuit from 2006 to 2009.

Heathrow focuses on rail links
Heathrow will argue that new rail links such as HS2 and Crossrail will help it build on its position as the best-connected airport to the UK’s regions, as it steps up its campaign to be allowed to expand. The west London airport has had discussions with business leaders and says its expansion campaign has support from chambers of commerce including South Wales, Newcastle, Liverpool, Inverness and Glasgow.

Hedge fund pressures Dow Chemical
Third Point, the hedge fund led by activist investor Daniel Loeb, has raised the pressure on Dow Chemical to improve shareholder returns, setting out a detailed critique of the company’s strategy. In a letter sent to its own investors yesterday, Third Point said that Dow had taken some “shareholder-friendly actions”, but had still failed to address concerns that it was “under-earning its potential in its petrochemical businesses.”


PizzaExpress given £1bn price tag
PizzaExpress is being served up to potential suitors after being put on sale by Cinven with an estimated price tag of £1bn. Gondola Group, which also owns the Ask Italian and Zizzi chains, has appointed Goldman Sachs to handle a sale of its biggest brand, although the backstop of an initial public offering has not been ruled out.

Savills takes on the American market
A British estate agency is to take on the American market after agreeing to buy a New York-based group in its largest acquisition in history. Savills is to pay $260m for Studley group, that specialises in representing tenants.

The Daily Telegraph

M&S launches online drive
Marks & Spencer, Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, has launched a new online push, targeting the 19m customers a year who shop in its UK stores but do not use its website. The 130-year-old firm, which also sells homeware and upmarket food, is at the end of a three-year, £2.3bn plan aimed at addressing years of under-investment and reversing falling sales and profit.

BAE wins deal to service RAF planes
Defence group BAE Systems has signed a £125m, three-year extension to its contract with the Ministry of Defence to maintain Britain’s fleet of frontline fighter-bombers until 2019.


Facebook challenged over Rift
ZeniMax, a US maker of video games, is claiming rights to the intellectual property that powers Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, which can be used to play video games, watch movies or double as a computer monitor. In recent weeks, lawyers for ZeniMax have sent two letters each to Oculus and Facebook, saying former ZeniMax employee John Carmack improperly shared ZeniMax’s intellectual property with Oculus, before and after he joined in August. That technology, the company claims, propelled Oculus from a shoestring startup to technology’s big leagues in less than two years.