MP TALKS TOUGH OVER SSE MIS-SALE
The UK’s big gas and electricity suppliers should be forced to repay any profits made by mis-selling their products on the doorstep, the chairman of an influential House of Commons committee has suggested. Scottish and Southern Energy was found guilty of unfair trading on Tuesday after its door-to-door sales agents used a “misleading” script to sign up customers.
TOYOTA SUFFERS FROM STRONG YEN
Toyota has pleaded for relief from the strong yen as it seeks to repair the financial damage from March’s earthquake and tsunami, a call that could add to pressure on Japan’s government to resume intervention in the currency market. Chief financial officer Satoshi Ozawa said Toyota had “reached the limits of our ability to manufacture in Japan”.
FRANCE TO BAN FRACKING OF FOSSIL FUELS
French lawmakers have voted to ban a controversial technique used to extract shale gas and oil that opponents say contaminates the environment. If the vote by the lower house of parliament passes the Senate next month, France will be the first country to ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The process injects water, chemicals and sand into rock formations to break them open and extract fossil fuel deposits.
GOOGLE THREAT TO SHUT SWISS STREET VIEW
Google is threatening to shut down its Street View mapping service in Switzerland unless the country’s supreme court overturns a ruling requiring an absolute guarantee of anonymity for people photographed. Withdrawing Street View from an entire country would be Google’s biggest retreat to date in response to complaints over privacy violations.
ALLEN & OVERY SETS TREND FOR FREEZING PAY OF ALL NEWLY QUALIFIED CITY LAWYERS
Allen & Overy blamed a “flat” commercial legal market for its decision to freeze salaries for junior lawyers yesterday. Pay for newly qualified solicitors at the City law firm will be held at £61,000 while rates for lawyers at other levels of the pay ladder will also stay the same as last year, Britain’s fourth-biggest law firm said. Other City law firms are likely to follow.
OFGEM GETS BLAME FOR A LOSS OF TRUST IN BIG SIX
Britain’s top energy suppliers rounded on Ofgem yesterday, claiming that the regulator bore responsibility for eroding consumers’ trust in them. The companies are unhappy with the populist tone adopted in the media by Ofgem’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan.
The Daily Telegraph
BANK OF ENGLAND DISMISSES STARBUCKS’ ATTACK ON COFFEE SPECULATORS
Bank of England policymakers doused talk that speculators are harming the economy by forcing up commodity prices. Charlie Bean, the deputy Governor, and Paul Fisher, the executive director of markets, said prices tend to be underpinned by “fundamentals”. Addressing the recent crash and mini-rebound, Mr Fisher said: “There’s always clearly some froth in markets.”
JAPAN TO INJECT FIVE TRN YEN INTO TEPCO NUCLEAR COMPENSATION FUND
Japan's government is planning to inject about ¥5trillion (£37.4bn) into a fund to help Tokyo Electric Power compensate victims of the crisis at its nuclear plant and save Asia’s largest utility from ruin. The scheme is designed to protect bondholders.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
SPRINT SAYS T-MOBILE DEAL THREATENS ITS EXISTENCE
AT&T Inc.'s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, defended his ambitious $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA before skeptical lawmakers while rival Sprint Nextel said the merger threatened its existence as a standalone company. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary panel expressed the most doubts about the deal, saying they didn't want to reconstitute the “Ma Bell” monopoly.
GOOGLE TO LAUNCH CHROME LAPTOPS IN JUNE
Google previewed the first laptops running the company's Chrome operating system, machines that will go on sale next month as part of the Internet giant’s challenge to Microsoft’s Windows franchise. The computers, unveiled at a Google conference, are dubbed “Chromebooks”.