Cameron faces setback over Juncker
David Cameron’s campaign to head off Jean-Claude Juncker’s election to the EU’s most high-profile job is facing its most serious challenge yet with Germany pressing for a vote to override the British Prime Minister’s objections as early as next week. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has told European Union leaders she fears an extended fight over the candidacy of the former Luxembourg prime minister for European Commission president and “now favours moving very promptly to appointing Juncker”, according to a diplomatic summary of Ms Merkel’s views obtained by the Financial Times.
Vickers reforms fall foul of EU lawyers
Brussels is going beyond the law in its plan to exempt the UK’s Vickers reforms from its EU-wide overhaul of “too big to fail” banks, according to legal advice to EU finance ministers. A confidential opinion from the EU Council legal service, seen by the FT, throws into serious doubt the effort to harmonise European banking reforms while leaving the UK’s model unscathed.
Fed looks at exit fees on bond funds
Federal Reserve officials have discussed whether regulators should impose exit fees on bond funds to avert a potential run by investors, underlining concern about the vulnerability of the $10 trillion corporate bond market.
Virgin Media criticised on outsourcing
The rancour between one of the country’s biggest broadband companies and the Communication Workers Union has increased after Virgin Media announced plans to outsource almost 140 jobs from Britain to Bangalore. Virgin Media has launched a consultation to send 88 jobs in Bradford and a further 50 in Birmingham to India.
Counties need extra power
Growth in the English regions is being stifled by the government’s failure to devolve powers and funding from Whitehall, MPs have warned.
A cross-party group said policy focus on big cities was frustrating counties’ economic potential.
The Daily Telegraph
Saatchi calls for business tax cuts
The Conservatives should pledge to abolish corporation tax for all small businesses to allow firms to “challenge cartel capitalism”, a former Tory party chairman says. Lord Saatchi, chair of the Centre for Policy Studies, calls on the govern-ment to offer major tax cuts to small firms.
FirstGroup chief’s pay up 86 per cent
Tim O’Toole, the chief executive of beleaguered transport company FirstGroup, saw an 86 per cent jump in his pay packet last year despite the company rowing back on a pledge to pay a £50m dividend to its long-suffering shareholders.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Williams Cos to offer $3bn of stock
Williams Cos plans to offer $3bn in shares as part of its nearly $6bn ownership expansion in Access Midstream Partners, which would give the natural-gas pipeline company a larger presence in areas with growing energy output from shale formations.
Google faces antitrust complaint
Google is facing fresh accusations of anticompetitive behaviour in Europe over its Android operating system for mobile phones. In a complaint filed with European Union regulators yesterday, Aptoide claims Google is abusing its dominant position in the smartphone market to push users away from rival app stores.