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Jul 28, 2015

Ofcom says Royal Mail price changes breach competition law

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s postal regulator Ofcom
said Royal Mail has breached competition law by
proposing wholesale prices that were designed to be more
expensive for any firm looking to run a rival mail delivery
service.

The dispute is the latest in a line of headaches for Royal
Mail. Last month Ofcom announced it would also review the
regulation of Royal Mail, while it faces declining volumes in
its letters business and slower than expected growth in parcels.

Jul 27, 2015

Gambling firm GVC raises offer to $1.6 bln for rival Bwin.party

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Online gambling firm GVC
Holdings returned on Monday with a new 1 billion-pound
($1.55 billion) bid for rival Bwin.party Digital Entertainment
, looking to trump a recently accepted offer from 888
.

Bwin, put up for sale last year, accepted a cash and stock
deal worth almost 900 million pounds from online casino and
poker firm 888 this month, shunning an earlier 908-million-pound
offer from GVC and Canada’s Amaya Inc, which it deemed
too complex and with less attractive growth prospects.

Jul 24, 2015

Ladbrokes and Gala Coral team up for online betting push

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Bookmakers Ladbrokes and
Gala Coral sealed an all-share merger on Friday, creating a 2.3
billion pound ($3.4 billion) betting group that will seek to
build on its dominance of Britain’s high streets to expand its
online business.

The latest deal in the gambling sector comes only a week
after online betting company 888 agreed a 900 million
pound takeover of rival Bwin.party. Betting firms are
responding to higher tax bills in Britain and tighter regulation
of the industry by looking to bulk up.

Jul 21, 2015

Royal Mail’s pick up in parcels offset by fewer letters

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – British postal firm Royal Mail
reported flat quarterly revenue as an improvement in
parcels trading on the back of longer opening hours and a drive
to win business with retailers was wiped out by a sharp fall in
letter volumes.

Royal Mail’s prospects hinge on its ability to cut costs and
modernise its operations in order to win more of a parcels
market buoyed by a boom in online shopping.

Jul 17, 2015

Online gambling firm 888 wins 900 million pound battle for Bwin.party

LONDON (Reuters) – Online casino and poker firm 888 (888.L: Quote, Profile, Research) won the battle for larger rival Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) on Friday, clinching a cash and stock deal worth almost 900 million pounds ($1.4 billion).

888, which itself rejected a takeover by Britain’s biggest bookmaker William Hill (WMH.L: Quote, Profile, Research) in February, had been battling against a 908 million pound offer from GVC Holdings (GVC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) for Bwin, which put itself up for sale last year.

Jul 17, 2015

Online gambling firm 888 wins $1.4 billion battle for Bwin.party

LONDON (Reuters) – Online casino and poker firm 888 won the battle for larger rival Bwin.party Digital Entertainment on Friday, clinching a cash and stock deal worth almost 900 million pounds ($1.4 billion).

888, which itself rejected a takeover by Britain’s biggest bookmaker William Hill in February, had been battling against a 908 million pound offer from GVC Holdings for Bwin, which put itself up for sale last year.

Jul 16, 2015

Sports Direct pledges deals to boost European ambitions

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – Sports Direct said it
expected to seal elusive European acquisitions over the coming
year to build on its dominance of the British sporting goods
retail market.

Founded and majority controlled by Newcastle United soccer
club owner Mike Ashley, the group has grown rapidly in Britain
through a mixture of M&A and cheap prices. However, a push to
replicate its success across continental Europe, a market eight
times the size of the UK, has proved slower going.

Jul 15, 2015

Wetherspoon warns of impact of higher staff wages on UK pubs

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) – A higher minimum wage threatens
to put many British pubs out of business, JD Wetherspoon
said on Wednesday, warning of “unsustainable pressure” on an
industry struggling with taxes and competition from
supermarkets.

British finance minister George Osborne last week announced
a bumper pay increase in his first post-election budget, with
the current 6.50 pound ($10.20) minimum wage set to rise to a
7.20 pounds for those aged over 25 from next April.

Jul 7, 2015

ASOS lifts profit forecast after strong third quarter

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – British online clothing retailer
ASOS said demand for cut-price fashions abroad and
strong trading at home meant annual sales growth would hit the
top of forecasts, with profits also expected to edge up.

ASOS, which counts U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama among its
fans, forecast on Tuesday full-year sales at the higher end of
its 15-20 percent growth range and a pretax profit of 47 million
pounds ($73 million), up from 45 million previously.

Jul 3, 2015

Once an idol, now an enemy; Watson eyes Serena and rivals

LONDON (Reuters) – Serena Williams once featured among Heather Watson’s bedroom posters but after the Briton almost ran her idol out of Wimbledon on Friday, the game’s big hitters are now in her sights on court.

Watson, ranked 59th, was twice just two points away from sending shockwaves around the All England Club by knocking out the five-times champion in front of a rapturous home crowd but eventually came up short losing 6-2 4-6 7-5 in the third round.

    • About Neil

      "I'm a company news reporter covering the retail and leisure sectors. Based in London I write on everything from the big retailers to fashion chains, hotels, drinks firms, pubs and coffee shops. I've previously covered the outsourcing sector and before that worked on Reuters sport for three years. You can follow me on Twitter @ReutersMaidment"
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
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