Lebedev closer to Independent deal
ALEXANDER Lebedev moved closer to buying the London 'Independent' and the 'Independent on Sunday' yesterday after the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) ruled that the deal would raise no competition issues.
Mr Lebedev is in negotiations with Independent News & Media to buy the London titles. The OFT said that the acquisition did not constitute a "relevant merger situation" because the turnover of the 'Independent' and the 'Independent on Sunday' was less than £70m (€78m) and the combined market share of the the 'Independent' and the 'Evening Standard', which is 75pc owned by Mr Lebedev, was less than 25pc.
Facebook tops Google hits
FACEBOOK, the world's largest social-networking site, surpassed the Google search engine in weekly hits to become the most visited website in the US for the first time. Facebook.com accounted for 7.07pc of visits in the week to March 13, topping Google.com's 7.03pc, New York-based research firm Hitwise said.
Jobless drop boosts sterling
STERLING strengthened against the euro after UK jobless claims unexpectedly dropped in February, stoking speculation the British economy is recovering. The pound appreciated 0.5pc to 89.86 pence per euro, the first time since March 8 that the euro has traded below 90p after Britain's Office for National Statistics said the number of Britons receiving unemployment benefits dropped 32,300 from January.
US producer prices dip
OFFICIAL figures show that US producer prices declined sharply in February, ending a four-month run of increases, on the back of slipping prices of energy-linked goods. The producer price index for finished goods declined 0.6pc, following a 1.4pc advance in January.
Chinese taxi 'takeaway'
CHINA'S largest independent carmaker is poised to take control of Manganese Bronze, maker of London's black taxi. Sluggish sales of the taxi have prompted Manganese Bronze to consider offering more shares to the Geely Group, the Chinese company which already owns a 23pc stake.