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WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

POKER PROVES TOUGH GAMBLE FOR 888
888 Holdings took a near 30 per cent hit on poker revenues last year, but the online gambling operator said it was confident of tapping into its well of social players and predicted a return to poker growth in the second half of 2010. Poker was the weak link in results for the year to December 31 that saw revenues fall 4 per cent to $246.7m (£164m) and pre-tax profit decline 31 per cent to $27.6m. Poker revenues fell from $71.6m to $51.6m.


RANDOM HOUSE FEARS IPAD PRICE WAR
Random House, the world’s largest book publisher by sales, could keep its books from Apple’s iPad when it goes on sale next month, as the Bertelsmann unit fears the effects of the tablet device on the pricing of electronic books.

EU REWRITES INTERNATIONAL DIVORCE RULES
An overhaul for the rules governing international divorces withint the European Union will be unveiled today in a move to stop couples squabbling over which country’s court should handle their split. The rules, however, will apply to only 10 of the EU’s 27 countries, including France, Italy and Spain, highlighting the resistance to handing over such a delicate dossier to Brussels.


IBM faces eu antitrust complaint over “tying” claims
Antitrust problems for IBM mounted on Tuesday when a fresh complaint about its business practices was filed with Europe’s top competition regulator. The new complaint comes from TurboHercules, a French company, which is accusing the US group of refusing to allow customers to run IBM’s mainframe operating systems on anything other than IBM mainframe hardware.

THE TIMES

BANKS OPPOSE FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY OVER PLAN TO BAN “LIARS’ LOANS”
The Financial Services Authority is facing fierce objections from some of Britain’s biggest lenders over proposals to ban self-certified mortgages. The City watchdog said that large banks and building societies had opposed a ban on the so-called liars’ loans that allow borrowers to state their own income without documentary proof, because it would be unfair on the self-employed and could lead to an increase in mortgage fraud.


TIME WARNER LEADS PACK IN RACE FOR MGM
Time Warner emerged yesterday as the front-runner in the race to buy the struggling Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio — but, in the best tradition of James Bond, the plot was not quite as simple as it seemed.

The Daily Telegraph

DAI-ICHI MUTUAL UNVEILS BIGGEST SHARE OFFERS SINCE THE GREAT RECESSION
Dai-Ichi Mutual Life in Japan is to launch the world's biggest public offering since the Great Recession, raising $11bn (£7.3bn) in the latest sign of returning confidence in global markets. It is the largest share offer in Japan since 1998 and the largest worldwide since the Visa’s $20bn sale in March 2008


FRANCE DITCHES CARBON TAX AS SOCIAL PROTESTS MOUNT
France is facing its own “spring of discontent” as strikes shut schools, courts, railways and metro services, and trade unions vowed mass protests across the country. President Nicolas Sarkozy scrapped the country’s proposed carbon tax and reshuffled his cabinet in populist tilt after suffering a crushing electoral defeat.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

GM PICTURE BRIGHTENS AS SALES RISE
General Motors appears to be making progress in the first quarter, benefiting from savings won in bankruptcy court, an improving economy and firmer pricing. At the same time, the US’s largest car maker has seen sales rise and is on track to produce 75 per cent more vehicles in the first quarter in North America than a year ago. Some analysts believe GM could come close to breaking even in the first three months of the year – a milestone after years of major losses.


DIAGEO PULLS OUT RÖKK IN VODKA WARS
Diageo PLC plans to unveil a Swedish vodka in the US this summer in a direct assault on Constellation Brand’s Svedka, a fast-growing “cheap chic” brand that has stolen market share from Diageo’s Smirnoff.