Feb 17, 2019

Porsche warns UK customers of Brexit price rise

The German carmaker asks new UK customers to agree a possible 10% price rise under a no-deal Brexit.

Feb 17, 2019

Tiger Global dumps Barclays stake in blow to Staley

Tiger Global, the US hedge fund that was one of the biggest investors in Barclays, has sold its entire holding, according to people familiar with the matter, in a blow to the bank's efforts to win support for its turnround strategy. The US hedge fund spent more than $1bn to build its stake in Barclays in November 2017, when the bank's shares were trading at about 180p. The company's shares subsequently rallied to touch 217p in March last year but have since lost roughly a quarter of their...

Feb 15, 2019

Ford puts bed hoggers in their place, and other news

BBC Click's Jen Copestake looks at some of the best technology stories of the week.

Feb 15, 2019

Premier Foods calls off sale of Ambrosia custard unit

Mr Kipling and Bisto gravy maker Premier Foods has called off a plan to sell its Ambrosia custard business after the chief executive who pulled the trigger on the disposal process stepped down. Gavin Darby, who was head of the heavily indebted food brands group until last month, had hoisted the For Sale sign over Ambrosia in November following pressure by activist investor Oasis to restructure the business. Mr Darby said, while relinquishing his chief executive role, that "The potential...

Feb 15, 2019

Vodafone drops PwC as auditor after Phones4U dispute

PwC was awarded the contract in 2014 when Vodafone put the contract up for tender after 26 years with Deloitte. A dispute linked to PwC's role as administrators for Phones4U triggered another change, with Vodafone putting the contract back out to tender in December. Vodafone is the second major telecoms group to have dropped PwC as its auditor in two years. PwC earned €26m in audit and non-audit fees from Vodafone in 2018, compared with the £13m earned by Deloitte in 2014. PwC has been...

Feb 15, 2019

Why European banks fall short on Wall Street

If Mr Bramson and Deutsche's investors succeed, European banks will no longer try to compete head-on with big Wall Street firms. Most of the European banks that most please investors have pulled back from volatile and risky investment banking in favour of steadier consumer banking in domestic markets, and investment management. There is a long history of European banks going to New York and trying to break into Wall Street. For big European companies and investors, the imbalance of power...

Feb 15, 2019

Barclays considered £500m cash injection from Russia

Russia offered to help bail out Barclays with £500m of emergency capital as the bank battled to avoid a UK taxpayer rescue at the height of the financial crisis, a court has heard. As markets roiled in the wake of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy in 2008, and with the UK Treasury planning a sector-wide bailout, Barclays desperately sought overseas investors to keep the bank away from its own government's clutches. The proposal was taken seriously enough by the bank to be discussed at its board...

Feb 15, 2019

Dyson sweeps 100 back office jobs out of the UK

Dyson outsourced more than 100 back office roles out of the UK only months before announcing the relocation of its headquarters to Asia, said current and former employees of the consumer appliances maker. The staffing changes came before Dyson made the surprise announcement last month that it was moving its head office to Singapore, where it is building an electric car factory, because of its growing sales and manufacturing operations in the region. A Dyson spokesperson said the redundancies...

Feb 15, 2019

The community that rejected Amazon

A day after Amazon announced it would abandon controversial plans to build a new campus in New York City, the neighbourhood selected for the expansion was still in shock. The divided opinions reflected the fierce debate stirred by Amazon's plan, which would have added 25,000 jobs over 10 years to a waterfront district in Queens already grappling with fallout from years of rapid change. Activists and local politicians questioned necessity of the subsidies, which amounted to more than $48,000...

Feb 14, 2019

Morrisons faces women's equal pay action

PA Supermarket giant Morrisons is facing legal action by women who work in its stores and warehouses. Rival Asda has suffered a series of setbacks in its own continuing legal dispute with staff over equal pay. "Ellie Pinnells, a lawyer at Roscoe Reid, said:"There is a clear case that female roles have been underpaid for a long time and employees are very likely to win their equal pay cases. "Asda has tried to fight every point, but has had a string of defeats in the court. Let's hope...

Feb 14, 2019

Former Apple lawyer charged with insider trading

US prosecutors have charged a former top Apple lawyer with insider trading. Mr Levoff, who was responsible for ensuring compliance with Apple's insider trading policies, is accused of breaching those policies on several occasions. The US Securities Exchange Commission said Mr Levoff engaged in insider trading various times between 2011 and 2016. "Levoff's alleged exploitation of his access to Apple's financial information was particularly egregious given his responsibility for implementing...

Feb 14, 2019

Micro Focus extends buyback as it moves on from disruption of HP Enterprise deal

Micro Focus extended its share buyback programme for the second time in three months after telling investors that most of the disruption from its blockbuster takeover of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software business was behind it. Integrating the businesses proved more difficult than expected and prompted Micro Focus to issue a sales warning last March. The acquisition was its biggest to date, quadrupling its size and adding thousands of employees in the US. "Integrations of this scale are...

Feb 14, 2019

Nasa calls time on silent Opportunity Mars rover

The US space agency has called time on its Opportunity Mars rover. Engineers hoped Oppy would power back up when the skies cleared and sunlight hit its solar panels again - but there has not been a peep out of the rover. In the end, the golf-buggy-sized rovers surpassed all expectations. NASA/JPL. Spirit worked for six years, logging a drive distance of almost 8km; and Opportunity trundled on for 45km over 15 years - a record for any wheeled vehicle off Earth. NASA/JPL. Opportunity's silence...

Feb 14, 2019

Amazon cancels New York City campus plan

EPA Amazon has said it will not build a new headquarters in New York City, citing fierce opposition from state and local politicians. The dramatic turnabout comes just months after the firm named New York City one of two sites selected for major expansion over the next decades. City and state leaders had agreed to provide about $3bn in incentives to secure that investment. Amazon said its plans to build a new headquarters required "Positive, collaborative relationships with state and local...

Feb 13, 2019

Ford warns no-deal Brexit would be 'catastrophic'

PA Ford has said a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the firm's manufacturing operations in the UK and that it would do "Whatever is necessary" to protect its business. The comments come after a report the carmaker was stepping up preparations to move production out of the UK. Ford declined to comment directly on The Times' report, but said it had long warned against a "Hard Brexit". According to The Times' report, the firm told Prime Minister Theresa May on a telephone call with...

Feb 13, 2019

Steve Morgan: Redrow founder wins case against Daily Mail

A multi-millionaire property developer has successfully sued the Daily Mail newspaper over "False and defamatory" claims in an article about him. The paper has apologised and will make a donation to charity after the High Court found in favour of Redrow Homes chairman and founder Steve Morgan. The action was taken after the Daily Mail article, which appeared in the newspaper and on the MailOnline website in August 2017, claimed Mr Morgan bought properties intended for low-income families at a...

Feb 13, 2019

Elon Musk named as Twitter boss favourite

Elon Musk has been named as Twitter boss Jack Dorsey's favourite tweeter in an interview about how to tackle abuse. The singling out of the Tesla boss has raised eyebrows because Mr Musk's tweets have often proved controversial. Elon Musk was happy to take the praise, tweeting: "Thanks Jack. Twitter rocks." An attack on a diver involved in rescuing a group of Thai boys from a cave, who was referred to by Mr Musk as a "Pedo guy" on Twitter, has led to an ongoing defamation case. Twitter has...

Feb 13, 2019

Electrician wins asbestos case against Vauxhall

John Carey continued a claim against Vauxhall Motors in Luton after his wife Lydia died of mesothelioma in November. Solicitors for the family say Mrs Carey initially launched the action against Vauxhall Motors after her diagnosis. Mr Carey, from Toddington, Bedfordshire, described coming into contact with asbestos as an electrician in the trucks division of Vauxhall Motors between 1973 and 1979 - during which time he met and married his wife. Vauxhall Motors said any jobs which disturbed...

Feb 13, 2019

Apple to investigate Saudi app

A Saudi Arabian app that can be used to track women and prevent them from travelling will be investigated by Apple, its chief executive has said. In an interview with NPR, Tim Cook said he wasn't aware of the Absher app but would look into it. Originally designed for the Ministry of Interior, the app has been in use for several years and downloaded more than a million times. In an open letter to both companies, in response to the report, Mr Wyden wrote: "It is hardly news that the Saudi...

Feb 13, 2019

NHS England lifts block on Babylon’s GP at Hand service

The National Health Service in England has reversed its decision to block doctor app Babylon from expanding into Birmingham after setting out plans to radically ramp up its digital ambitions. Babylon had applied last year to launch a remote video consultation service, called GP at Hand, in Birmingham, Britain's second-biggest city, but the application was blocked after a local NHS body raised safety concerns. "We welcome the decision to allow the expansion of Babylon GP at Hand to people...

Feb 12, 2019

Government sued over no-deal ferry contracts

AFP The government is being sued for its decision to charter firms to run extra ferries, including one with no ships, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. At a High Court hearing in London, Eurotunnel claimed the government contracts, announced on 29 December, were awarded without any public notice. Ewan West, representing Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in court, said the government's procurement process was only for "Maritime freight" services and that Eurotunnel "Could never have provided...

Feb 12, 2019

Debenhams secures lifeline with credit extension

Debenhams, the struggling department store group, said it had agreed an extension to its credit facilities and a sourcing partnership with Li & Fung, the Hong Kong-quoted trading company. Expected to cover a material part of the company's own-brand sourcing, Debenhams said this would result in improved product quality and lead-times, higher achieved margins and better working capital efficiency. Sergio Bucher, the Debenhams chief executive who was voted off the board by Sports Direct and...

Feb 12, 2019

Nissan takes $83m charge related to Carlos Ghosn

Japan's Nissan has cut its full-year profit forecast in its first results since former chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest for financial misconduct. The 64-year-old has been in prison since November after Nissan accused him of understating his pay. The results are the first to be published since the arrest of its former chairman. He was sacked by Nissan after his arrest last year and resigned from Renault. Renault and Nissan have pledged to continue their alliance.

Feb 12, 2019

British Gas prepayment top-ups hit by IT fault

Customers have been struggling to top up their pay-as-you-go energy meters owing to a fault at British Gas. "Couldn't use the app or the website to try and top up and my gas is nearly depleted," said one on website Down Detector. On Twitter, customer Jody Greaves wrote: "Now just managed to top up after British Gas forced me into emergency. Absolute joke! 45 mins on phone." "A spokesman for Centrica, which owns British Gas, said:"Some of our customers have not been able to access their...

Feb 12, 2019

Nigeria: Ogoni widow testifies against Shell in The Hague

The widow of a Nigerian activist suing oil giant Shell over the execution of her husband says his death left her "Traumatised" and "Poverty-stricken". The protests were seen as a major threat to then-military ruler Gen Sani Abacha, and Shell. "She added:"Shell came into my life to take the best crown l ever wore off my head. Shell came into my life to make me a poverty-stricken widow with all my businesses shut down. Shell came into my life to make me a refugee living in harsh conditions...

Feb 12, 2019

Debenhams shareholders will not be served by refinancing plan

Since the store chain's latter-day owners launched an initial public offering in 2006, a legacy of private equity debt on top of property writedowns and falling sales has sent shares in Debenhams down 98 per cent. Debenhams seems to have calculated that £40m is just enough to see it through its spring working capital peak - when taxes, rent and rates all fall due - and avoid recourse to 29 per cent shareholder and would-be secured lender Mike Ashley, he of the Sports Direct personal fiefdom....

Feb 11, 2019

Paris to sue Airbnb over 'illegal ads'

The city of Paris is suing Airbnb for €12.5m over 1,000 adverts for what is says are illegal rentals. According to a 2018 report by analyst Statista, Paris was Airbnb's second most popular destination in terms of active rentals, with London in the top spot. Critics of platforms such as Airbnb say they can drive up private rental prices in an area and result in an increase in anti-social behaviour by guests. London: Short-term rentals for whole homes limited to 90 days a year. Paris:...

Feb 11, 2019

Varley faced walking ‘the plank’ if Qatar rescue failed

A senior Barclays executive speculated that his former chief executive John Varley would have to "Walk the plank" if the bank's capital fundraising had failed in June 2008, a high-profile fraud trial heard on Monday. The Serious Fraud Office, which is prosecuting the case, has alleged that four top former Barclays bankers lied to the market about fees paid to Qatar over the course of two emergency fundraisings in 2008. It alleges Mr Varley, then chief executive of Barclays, along with Roger...

Feb 11, 2019

Debenhams secures cash injection as it battles for survival

Debenhams is understood to have secured a cash injection of around £40m to buy it extra time as it battles to secure a longer term deal with lenders. Debenhams is also trying to accelerate plans to close stores, and is expected to close around 20 stores this year. Debenhams announced last year that it would close up to 50 stores within three to five years, putting 4,000 jobs at risk. Debenhams has 165 stores and employs around 25,000 people. Debenhams reported a record pre-tax loss of £491.5m...

Feb 11, 2019

Facebook and Google news should be regulated, Cairncross Review says

A regulator should oversee tech giants like Google and Facebook to ensure their news content is trustworthy, a government-backed report has suggested. The Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry said such sites should help users identify fake news and "Nudge people towards reading news of high quality". The report called for a new Institute for Public Interest News. The report fell short of requiring Facebook, Google and other tech giants to pay for the news they distribute...