FACEBOOK SET FOR SUIT OVER US PUBLICITY LAWS
Facebook’s practice of showing people that their friends “like” specific products could run afoul of a California law that gives both celebrities and ordinary citizens the right to control how their names and pictures are used for commercial endorsements. A federal judge in San Jose has rejected Facebook’s bid to dismiss a case that accuses the dominant social network of violating California’s “right of publicity” statute and state unfair trade practices law.
TRAFIGURA PROFITS SOAR ABOVE $1BN
Trafigura, one of the world’s largest commodities traders, has reported its best year ever, with profits surging above the $1bn mark as it benefited from “prolonged volatility” in commodities markets hit by the Arab spring and the Japanese earthquake. Trafigura said that its net profit rose to $1.11bn in its fiscal year to the end of September, up 62 per cent from $689.7m in the same period of last year, and above the privately-held house’s previous record of $837m in 2009.
CAR INDUSTRY GROWS TO RECORD SIZE IN 2011
The car industry grew to a record size in 2011, despite weathering a year that began with Japan’s earthquake and ended with a gathering sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone. Both IHS Automotive and LMC Automotive (formerly JD Power Automotive Forecasting) estimate that sales of cars and light trucks will have grown by about four per cent this year to 75m.
ABRAMOVICH ‘SHOULD FACE CRIMINAL INQUIRY AND PAY BACK $13BN’
A former top Kremlin aide has called for Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky to face a criminal investigation as the $6bn (£3.86bn) battle of the oligarchs enters its final stages at the Commercial Court in London. Alexander Korzhakov has told the court that Mr Abramovich’s acquisition of Sibneft in a state auction in 1995 was corrupt and unlawful.
CO-OP IN DAVID AND GOLIATH POWER STRUGGLE WITH BIG SIX
One of Britain’s smallest energy companies has set out to break the stranglehold of the industry’s Big Six by becoming the first supplier for more than a year to cut bills that have soared to record levels. The move by the tiny, fledgling Co-operative Energy will turn the spotlight once again on the leading suppliers.
The Daily Telegraph
EU DEMANDS £25BN LIFELINE FROM THE UK
David Cameron will come under pressure today to resist demands to contribute more than £25bn to a new Eurozone bail-out. European finance ministers will aim to agree a new €200bn (£167.7bn) loan to the IMF as part of a deal to save the single currency. Three quarters of the money is expected to come from Eurozone members, but Britain will also be asked to provide funds.
THEO PAPHITIS CONSIDERS LA SENZA
Theo Paphitis is considering another rescue deal for La Senza – the lingerie retailer he bought 13 years ago for “a quid and 40 Benson & Hedges”. The entrepreneur and star of the television show Dragons’ Den said he was mulling a bid after the retailer last week called in KMPG to advise on an emergency restructuring.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
EUROPEANS STASH MONEY ELSEWHERE
Southern European investors, fearful of the health of their banks and the future of the euro, are increasingly stashing their wealth in currencies, real estate and investment products outside the Eurozone, say bankers and government officials. In a troubling sign for European banks, investors in Greece, Portugal and Italy are asking bankers and lawyers for ways to protect their money in the case of a failure of Eurozone banks or a breakup of the euro itself.
OLYMPUS WARNED BY BIG INVESTORS
Two of the biggest investors in scandal-ridden Olympus Corp lashed out at management’s ideas about how to restore the company to health, saying they might challenge any attempt by the current board to keep their jobs at the next shareholders’ meeting, if necessary.