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Strep A antibiotics skyrocket as prices ‘hiked up to take advantage’ of demand

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The cost of antibiotics needed to treat Strep A has skyrocketed – as industry professionals claim prices have been hiked up to take advantage of “unprecedented” demand. Multiple pharmacies have warned they cannot obtain the necessary medications to treat Strep A as a 16th child died in Sussex with a suspected infection on Friday – despite the government insisting there are “sufficient” stocks and dismissing concerns about a national shortage.
But one pharmaceutical industry leader who agreed to speak to Sky News anonymously said the cost of antibiotic Amoxicillin has risen from 80p to £18.Share your NHS experience with Sky NewsShortages have been driven by “complicated supply chains” for medications and the raw materials used to make them, in many different parts of the world.
However, the industry has also seen “volatile spikes in demand for drugs” – following a sharp decline in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were not mixing or seeing GPs.The Department of Health and Social Care told Sky News that it is “normal” for prices to “fluctuate based on demand”.

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“What’s important is patients are still able to access antibiotics, which they are,” a spokesperson said.”We are working urgently with manufacturers and wholesalers to explore what can be done to expedite deliveries and bring forward stock they have to help ensure it gets to where it’s needed, to meet demand as quickly as possible and support access to these vital medicines.”

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A letter from NHS England to pharmacists, seen by Sky News, said local pharmacy teams may be experiencing a “temporary interruption of supply of some relevant antibiotics due to increased demand.”Supply chain disruption in China Sky News understands there is particular disruption in the Chengdu region of China, where raw materials are sourced before being delivered to Bangladesh for manufacturing.”The minute there is a shortage, there are people who hold stocks who will take advantage of it in order to price it however they want to price it, and they can price it pretty much wherever they like,” the industry leader said.”So you have a lot of small, so-called short line wholesalers who will make hay while the sun shines and will be charging what they want, because they know there is enormous demand.”

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Sky’s data and forensics correspondent Tom Cheshire analyses the case numbers behind Strep A

The NHS gives pharmacies a price each month for drugs they have been dispensed.But if the price falls sharply, pharmacies end up getting underpaid, the industry leader said.”The problem pharmacists are facing is there is a big cash shortfall when you see very rapid price increases.”Temporarily we might be able to cover the cost – but it might mean some pharmacists go bust,” they warned.The shortage is “scare-led and demand-led” but is unlikely to continue “indefinitely” and could “fade away quite quickly”.They likened the situation to people stockpiling toilet paper during the pandemic.”The amount the UK requires is extremely predictable but the moment anyone suggests there isn’t enough of it, immediately it goes out of stock because you can’t ramp up capacity that quickly.”Shortfalls will probably last for another year, they suggested.”Unprecedented shortage” But even a temporary shortage will be a “serious problem”, an independent pharmacist in Oxfordshire warned – describing the situation as “unprecedented”.Faheem Ahmed told Sky News’ Adele Robinson he had just three boxes of antibiotics – with many out of stock.”I hope it is temporary, but we are dealing with bacteria here, so when you say temporary, these bacteria multiply in minutes, seconds.”They are not going to wait for two, three, four days so whether it is temporary or long-term, if you look at it from a scientific level…the infection is going to spread.”

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5:15

Parents are urged to look out for symptoms of Strep A infection

Read more: Strep A: Find out how many severe infections and scarlet fever cases are in your areaAntibiotics could be given to schools with Strep A infectionsMr Ahmed said in the 10 years since he qualified, he has never known a shortage of antibiotics – and parents are “panicking”.The NHS would typically reimburse around £1.39 for drugs which have now risen more than double in price to £3.50.”For some reason in the space of three to four weeks, we can’t get hold of the raw materials,” Mr Ahmed told Sky News.”The manufacturers say ‘we don’t have it’, the suppliers don’t have it, so now we have the demand which will always be there at this time of year.”It has gone up, supply has come down and I wouldn’t be surprised once the NHS has to pay more, I think stock will be back.”

Kwarteng admits he and Truss ‘blew it’ and got ‘carried away’ with economic reforms

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Former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted he and Liz Truss “blew it” and got “carried away” with bringing in sweeping economic reforms.The Tory MP said the low-tax, small-state plans they had were “very exciting” and he was fully behind them but accepts that the way they were executed was their downfall.
Mr Kwarteng announced his “mini” budget just 17 days after his good friend Ms Truss became PM and made him chancellor, which caused the markets to crash and him to be sacked – before Ms Truss was also forced to step down.”It was very exciting, you felt you were part of a project,” he told the FT Weekend Magazine.Tough new laws for strike action being explored – politics latest
As soon as she became PM, Ms Truss said she did not want any opinion polling as she felt politicians were obsessed with “optics”.Despite advisers warning her and Mr Kwarteng that their plans would be seen as a “budget for the rich”, they were ignored.

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Mr Kwarteng added: “People got carried away, myself included. There was no tactical subtlety whatsoever.”He still believes the goal was correct but admitted: “Where we fell woefully short was to have a tactical plan.”

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As the economic turmoil continued, despite the government U-turning on some of the recently announced policies, Mr Kwarteng went to IMF meetings in Washington as he did not want to cause more panic by not attending.But he was called back early after, he and his allies believe, Cabinet Secretary Simon Case managed to persuade Ms Truss she had to reverse some of the measures to avoid economic ruin.

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Mr Kwarteng was sacked by Ms Truss less than a month after the mini-budget. Pic: AP

When Ms Truss told him he could no longer be chancellor on 14 October, he says he told her: “I know, I’ve seen it on Twitter.”Mr Kwarteng said he warned her he was a “firebreak” and getting rid of him would “make her weaker, not stronger”.”She said she was doing this to save her premiership,” he told the FT.Last month, Mr Kwarteng said he and Ms Truss are still “friends”.But, he added: “My biggest regret is we weren’t tactically astute and we were too impatient.”There was a brief moment and the people in charge, myself included, blew it.”

Reality of financial reforms is somewhere in the middle

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Depending on your point of view, Jeremy Hunt’s proposed reform of financial regulations represents a potentially significant boost to the competitiveness of the UK’s financial services sector or a potentially dangerous watering-down of rules put in place to prevent a re-run of the financial crisis.The truth, as ever, is that it is probably somewhere in between.
The first thing to say is that it is absolutely vital for the sector to remain competitive. Financial services is something the UK does well – it is one of the country’s great strengths.As the Treasury pointed out this morning, it employs some 2.3 million people – the majority outside London – and the sector generates 13% of the UK’s overall tax revenues, enough to pay for the police service and all of the country’s state schools.And there is little disputing that the UK’s competitive edge has been blunted during the last decade.
Part of that, though, is not due to post-crisis regulations but because of Brexit. Some activities that were once carried out in the Square Mile, Canary Wharf and elsewhere in the UK are now carried out in other parts of continental Europe instead.That has hurt the City. Amsterdam, for example, has overtaken London as Europe’s biggest centre in terms of volumes of shares traded.

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The move away from EU regulationsThe government takes the view, though, that Brexit has provided an opportunity to make the UK’s financial services sector more competitive, in that the UK can now move away from some EU regulations.

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A good example here is the EU-wide cap on banker bonuses – something that numerous City chieftains say has blunted the UK’s ability to attract international talent from competing locations such as New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

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Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The big US investment banks that dominate the City, such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citi and Morgan Stanley, have on occasion struggled to relocate some of their better-paid people to London because of the cap. So, although it may look politically risky to do so during a cost of living crisis, it is a sensible move that is highly likely to generate more taxes for the Treasury.Similarly uncontentious is a planned relaxation of the so-called ‘Solvency II’ rules, another EU-wide set of regulations, which determine how much capital insurance companies must keep on their balance sheets. The insurance industry has long argued that this forces companies to keep a lot of capital tied up unproductively.Relaxing the rules will enable the industry to put billions of pounds worth of capital to more productive use, for example, in green infrastructure projects or social housing. Few people dispute this is anything other than a good idea.Another reform likely to be universally welcomed by the industry is the sweeping away of the so-called PRIIPS (packaged retail and insurance-based investment products) rules. Investment companies have long argued that these inhibit the ability of fund managers and life companies to communicate effectively with their customers and even restrict customer choice.Mixed responsesThe fund management industry is also likely to welcome a divergence away from EU rules on how VAT is applied to the services it provides. This could see lighter taxation of asset management services in the UK than in the EU and would certainly make the sector more competitive.There will also be widespread interest in a proposed consultation over whether the Financial Conduct Authority should be given regulatory oversight of bringing environmental, social and governance ratings providers. This is an area of investment of growing importance and yet the way ESG funds are rated is, at present, pretty incoherent.Bringing the activity into the FCA’s purview could, potentially, give the UK leadership in a very important and increasingly lucrative activity.So far, so good.More contentious are plans to water down ‘ring fencing’ regulations put in place after the financial crisis.These required banks with retail deposits of more than £25bn to ring fence them from their supposedly riskier investment banking operations – dubbed by the government of the day as so-called ‘casino banking’ operations.The rules were seen at the time by many in the industry as being somewhat misguided on the basis that many of the UK lenders brought down by the financial crisis – HBOS, Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester – had barely any investment banking operations.Implementing them has been hugely expensive and lenders have argued that the rules risked “ossifying” the sector.There is no doubt that, at the margins, they have also blunted consumer choice. Goldman Sachs, for example, famously had to close its highly successful savings business, Marcus, to new customers after it attracted deposits close to £25bn. So lifting the level at which retail deposits must be ring-fenced to £35billion will be welcomed in that quarter.Challenger banks such as Santander UK, Virgin Money and TSB, all of which have little investment banking activities, are among those lenders seen as benefiting.Protecting citizens from “banking Armageddon”Yet the move will attract criticism from those who argue the rules were put in place for a reason and that watering them down will risk another crisis.They include Sir Paul Tucker, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, who told the Financial Times earlier this year: “Ringfencing helps protect citizens from banking Armageddon.”It is also worth noting that watering down the ring fencing rules does not appear something that the banks themselves has been calling for particularly strongly. It is not, after all, as if they will be able to recoup the considerable sums they have already spent putting ringfences in place. Click to subscribe to The Ian King Business Podcast wherever you get your podcasts Equally contentious are proposals to give regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) a secondary objective of ensuring the UK’s financial services sector remains competitive alongside their primary objective of maintaining financial stability.Sir John Vickers, who chaired the independent commission on banking that was set up after the financial crisis, wrote in the FT this week that the objective was either “pointless or dangerous”.Senior industry figures have also raised an eyebrow over the move. Sir Howard Davies, chairman of NatWest, said earlier this year that he was “not keen” on the idea.Pushback More broadly, there may also be some scepticism over anything that sees the UK’s financial regulation move away from that of the EU.The City was largely opposed to Brexit and, after it happened, the one thing it wanted more than anything else was a retention of the so-called ‘passport’ – enabling firms based in the UK to do business in the rest of the EU without having to go to financial regulators in each individual member state.That was not delivered and has created in a great deal more bureaucracy for City firms as well as causing the relocation of some jobs from the UK to continental Europe.The next best thing for the City would be so-called ‘equivalence’ – which would mean the EU and the UK’s financial regulations being broadly equivalent to the other side’s. The EU already has an existing arrangement with many other countries, such as the United States and Canada, and such a set-up with the UK would make it much easier for firms based here to do business in the bloc.But critics of Mr Hunt’s reforms argue that further movement away from the EU’s rules, as the chancellor envisages, would make it harder to secure the prize of an equivalence agreement.Mr Hunt is almost certainly over-egging things when he likens these reforms to the ‘Big Bang’ changes made by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1986.Big Bang was a genuine revolution in financial services that exposed the City to a blast of competition that, in short order, made the UK a global powerhouse in finance and which generated billions of pounds worth of wealth for the country.The Edinburgh Reforms are likely to be far more marginal in their impact.However, for those working in or running the financial services sector, the sentiment behind them will be welcomed.Despite its importance in supporting millions of well-paid jobs, the sector has been more or less ignored by Conservative and Labour governments ever since the financial crisis.

Financial sector shake-up, theatres deal with cost of living crisis and boom in men’s make-up

Sky News business

The UK’s financial sector’s in for a shake-up, as the chancellor unveils plans to rip up red tape and replace a number of EU regulations.Plus, Ian King speaks to the executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Catherine Mallyon, as theatres cope with the cost of living crisis.And Danny Gray, the founder of War Paint, talks about his men’s make-up brand as the global market for the products was estimated to be worth £874m last year.

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Santander fined £107.8m for repeated money-laundering failures and risking financial crime

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Santander UK has been fined £107.8m for “repeated money-laundering failures” by the financial conduct watchdog.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed the fine as business banking customers suffered due to “serious and persistent gaps in its anti-money laundering controls”, it said.
The millions owed for the lapse come at a discounted rate. Had Santander not agreed to resolve the matter it would not have qualified for the 30% discount rate and be on the hook for nearly £154m.More than half a million business customers were impacted by the bank’s failure to properly oversee and manage its anti-money laundering (AML) systems, the FCA found.That poor management “significantly impacted the account oversight” of more than 560,000 business customers between 31 December 2012 and 18 October 2017, it said.
AML measures are in place to make sure illegally obtained money is not disguised as legal funds.The gaps in the AML systems meant information provided by customers on the business they would be doing was inadequately verified.

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The lender also failed to properly monitor the money customers said would be going through their accounts compared to what actually was being deposited.As a result, there was a “prolonged and severe risk of money laundering and financial crime”, said Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight.

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Santander said it accepted the findings and had fully co-operated fully with the FCA investigation. It said it is fully committed to the fight against financial crime and will continue to meet all applicable financial crime regulations and laws.It noted the fine was based on a proportion of the revenues of Santander UK’s business banking division over the relevant period and that business banking customers formed 4% of Santander UK’s customer base in 2017.”The FCA’s investigation focused on the identification, assessment and management of higher risk customers, within the business banking division, including money services businesses,” a company statement read.”It has now concluded, and no further action is anticipated by the FCA or any other authority in respect of this matter.”Santander chief executive Mike Regnier apologised for the failings.”Santander takes its responsibilities regarding financial crime extremely seriously. We are very sorry for the historical anti-money laundering related controls issues in our business banking division between 2012 and 2017 highlighted in the FCA’s findings.””While we took action to address our AML issues once they were identified, we accept that our AML framework at the time should have been stronger.”We have since made significant changes to address this by overhauling our financial crime technology, systems and processes.”

Apple given deadline for swapping iPhone lightning port for USB-C

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Apple has been given an official deadline to swap the lightning charging port on new iPhones to USB-C.The company has reluctantly confirmed it will comply with the EU directive, which will require all smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other small devices to adopt the same standard.
While the bloc said the move would reduce e-waste and be pro-consumer, Apple argued it would stifle innovation.The tech giant’s handsets sport proprietary lightning ports, with only some models of the iPad featuring the USB-C jacks favoured by Android phones and many other devices, including games consoles and headphones.A previous attempt to introduce a common charging port across the EU failed back in 2018, but a provisional agreement was reached earlier this year and was voted through by the European Parliament in October.
The official rules on USB-C have now been published by the European Commission, setting an almost two-year deadline of 28 December 2024 for all portable devices to comply.Laptops have been given longer to get up to speed, with an enforcement date of 28 April 2026, while devices that charge exclusively wirelessly – like the Apple Watch – are exempt.

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What does the EU’s directive say?In documents published this week, the EU says it was committed to increasing “interoperability” between devices.

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In practice, that means people should not have to worry about reaching for a knotted mess of various cables at the bottom of a bag or back of a drawer when they want to charge something.The documents say the move will also “reduce unnecessary waste and costs”, something Apple has claimed it has attempted to do in recent years by removing packed-in charging adapters from new iPhones altogether.Apple executive Greg Joswiak has claimed that it “would have been better environmentally and better for our customers to not have a government be that prescriptive”.When will we see our first USB-C iPhone?If Apple sticks to its usual annual naming pattern, USB-C will be on the iPhone 16 at the very latest.The company normally launches its yearly refresh of smartphones in September.But reports suggest the switch could come sooner, possibly in time for the presumed iPhone 15 next year.Other products from the company, like AirPods cases and Mac mice, will also have to change.

Watchdog warning over passport delays as demand set to be high again next year

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About 360,000 UK citizens were waiting more than 10 weeks for a passport this year – despite a record number of applications being processed – as staffing problems and system difficulties caused delays.A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) into the delays at His Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) found they were caused by recruitment challenges, limitations in its systems, and unsuccessful efforts to manage demand – despite efforts to plan ahead.
Due to limitations on digital processing, 134,000 digital applications had to be moved to the less efficient, paper-based system, the report said.Media reports of delays also created difficulties, it said, as concerned travellers contacted the telephone helpline for reassurance, which placed greater pressure on services and staff.While 95% of applicants received their passports within 10 weeks, about 360,000 were waiting longer which resulted in travel disruptions for many.
A record 6.9 million applications were processed from January to September this year, an increase of 21% from the same period in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. More than seven million applications were made during the time period, with nearly half received from March to May.In May alone, HMPO received more than 1.2 million applications, 38% more than the highest month in the previous five years.

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Lessons have been learned from the experience, the NAO said. There has been improved contact with customers, capacity is being built to better manage demand in the future and a move to a digital process is being completed, the report read.Despite that, there was a warning for HMPO as similar demand is expected next year. A further 9.8 million applications could be received in 2023, still higher than average demand.

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The NAO urged HMPO to learn the lessons from 2022 so it is better prepared for such demand.In particular, it was encouraged to focus on improving management of customer expectations, improving management information and working with the Home Office to develop a more flexible approach to managing higher demand.Responding to the report, a Home Office spokesperson said: “The impact of COVID-19 on passport services is not unique to the UK, with passport issuing authorities across the world having reported challenges for their service.”We recognise that a small percentage of British passport customers did not receive the service that they should rightfully expect earlier this year. However, we have worked hard to rectify this, and have processed a record number of applications for a British passport in 2022, with over 95% being completed within 10 weeks.”

Chancellor announces major reforms for UK’s financial sector in quest to ‘turbocharge’ growth

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has launched a major reform of the UK’s financial sector, with plans to rip up red tape and replace a number of EU regulations.Mr Hunt said the changes, announced in Edinburgh, will “turbocharge” growth as the country struggles with a sluggish economy and a cost of living crisis.
He said: “This country’s financial services sector is the powerhouse of the British economy, driving innovation, growth and prosperity across the country.”Leaving the EU gives us a golden opportunity to reshape our regulatory regime and unleash the full potential of our formidable financial services sector.”The chancellor outlined more than 30 regulatory reforms, with hundreds of pages of EU rules to be reviewed, repealed, and replaced, ranging from disclosure for financial products to prudential rules governing banks.
Among the rules in the spotlight is “ring-fencing” – the regulation that requires major banks to keep investment and retail banking separate.This rule was brought in during 2019 and, according to the Bank of England, was designed to “increase the stability of the UK financial system and prevent the costs of failing banks falling on taxpayers”.

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But the reforms will see banks released from the requirements if they do not have major investment activities.Read more:Which sectors are affected by strikes and whyRise in computer professions as manufacturing jobs decline

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Banks have previously pushed for the rule to be axed or for the deposit threshold that triggers it to be raised.London is under pressure after being overtaken by Amsterdam as Europe’s top share-trading centre, and the EU is updating its own financial rules to reduce what remains of its reliance on the city.Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcastsBank of England director Phil Evans said on Wednesday that being a global financial centre brings a number of benefits to the British economy, but it also brings responsibilities such as resisting pressure to “cut standards in the short term”.

Microsoft vows fight as regulators bid to stop £50bn ‘Call of Duty’ takeover

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US regulators have filed a complaint aimed at stopping Microsoft’s planned $69bn (£50bn) takeover of Call of Duty games maker Activision Blizzard.Microsoft, which owns Xbox, said in January that it had agreed an all-cash deal – the biggest in the gaming sector to date.
But regulators globally, including in the UK, have taken great interest since.The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said in September the deal could restrict competitors’ access to Activision Blizzard games and limit competition in the emerging cloud gaming market.On Thursday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it was bidding to block the deal on the grounds that rivals would have restricted access to gaming content.

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Call Of Duty and Candy Crush are among Activision’s games

The agency said that Microsoft had a record of buying valuable gaming content and using it to suppress competition from rival consoles.Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition said: “Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals.

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“Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”The US tech giant has made several attempts to allay regulators’ fears including a commitment to to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms for the first time. It has made the same 10-year promise to Sony.

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Microsoft president Brad Smith responded to the FTC’s complaint: “While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”

Microsoft vows fight as regulators bid to stop £50bn ‘Call of Duty’ takeover

Sky News business

US regulators have filed a complaint aimed at stopping Microsoft’s planned $69bn (£50bn) takeover of Call of Duty games maker Activision Blizzard.Microsoft, which owns Xbox, said in January that it had agreed an all-cash deal – the biggest in the gaming sector to date.
But regulators globally, including in the UK, have taken great interest since.The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said in September the deal could restrict competitors’ access to Activision Blizzard games and limit competition in the emerging cloud gaming market.On Thursday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it was bidding to block the deal on the grounds that rivals would have restricted access to gaming content.

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Call Of Duty and Candy Crush are among Activision’s games

The agency said that Microsoft had a record of buying valuable gaming content and using it to suppress competition from rival consoles.Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition said: “Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals.

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“Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”The US tech giant has made several attempts to allay regulators’ fears including a commitment to to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms for the first time. It has made the same 10-year promise to Sony.

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Microsoft president Brad Smith responded to the FTC’s complaint: “While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”

Aggreko lines up £110m takeover of London-listed power supplier Crestchic

Sky News business

Aggreko, the former FTSE-100 temporary power supplier, is returning to raid the London stock market with a £110m offer for a specialist equipment provider.Sky News understands that Aggreko has agreed a 400p-a-share offer for Crestchic, which is listed on the junior AIM exchange.
City sources said the deal was likely to be announced on Friday morning.It is expected to value Crestchic at just over £100m, and will represent a roughly 15% premium to Thursday’s closing share price of 356p.Crestchic floated in 2006 and specialises in hiring and selling specialist power reliability equipment.
Its purchase by Aggreko will come nearly 18 months after the buyer was itself delisted from the London market following a £2.3bn takeover by I Squared Capital and TDR Capital.Aggreko’s business has performed strongly this year amid disruptions to power supplies in many of the markets in which it operates.

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The deal will also represent a relatively rare corporate transaction during a year of subdued mergers and acquisitions volumes.Centerview Partners is advising Aggreko on the talks.

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Crestchic did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening.

Aggreko lines up £110m takeover of London-listed power supplier Crestchic

Sky News business

Aggreko, the former FTSE-100 temporary power supplier, is returning to raid the London stock market with a £110m offer for a specialist equipment provider.Sky News understands that Aggreko has agreed a 400p-a-share offer for Crestchic, which is listed on the junior AIM exchange.
City sources said the deal was likely to be announced on Friday morning.It is expected to value Crestchic at just over £100m, and will represent a roughly 15% premium to Thursday’s closing share price of 356p.Crestchic floated in 2006 and specialises in hiring and selling specialist power reliability equipment.
Its purchase by Aggreko will come nearly 18 months after the buyer was itself delisted from the London market following a £2.3bn takeover by I Squared Capital and TDR Capital.Aggreko’s business has performed strongly this year amid disruptions to power supplies in many of the markets in which it operates.

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The deal will also represent a relatively rare corporate transaction during a year of subdued mergers and acquisitions volumes.Centerview Partners is advising Aggreko on the talks.

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Crestchic did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening.

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