Business Digest

The Times

CLAMPDOWN ON SUPERMARKET LAND DEALS THAT LOCK OUT RIVALS

Rules introduced on Friday by regulator the Competition
Commission will ban supermarkets from attaching conditions to
property deals that limit competition. Supermarkets like Asda
(WMT.N: ), Tesco (TSCO.L: ) and J. Sainsbury (SBRY.L: ) are now
prohibited from striking deals with landlords or local
authorities that prevent rival retailers from establishing shops
nearby. The CC has also banned supermarkets from putting
conditions on the sale of property that prevent other food
retailers from moving in. The CC has claimed that three big
supermarkets each hold dozens of these kinds of deals.

ALABAMA PREPARES TO SUE BP FOR GULF SPILL DAMAGE

US state Alabama has said it is preparing to sue oil
producer BP (BP.L: ) for the damage caused to its coastline by
BP’s recent leaking oil well. Alabama’s attorney general, Tory
King, said that BP “has inflicted catastrophic damage” on the
state as a result of the spilled oil but did not disclose an
estimated cost of the damage. The state is also considering
suing BP’s commercial partners involved with the oil drilling –
Transocean (RIG.N: ), Halliburton (HAL.N: ) and Andarko Petroleum.
BP has now successfully capped the well and is preparing a
further “bottom kill” operation to finally seal the well.

RIVALS ACCUSE BT OF SLAMMING BRAKES ON BROADBAND

Telecommunications firm BT (BT.L: ) has been criticised for
stifling attempts to spread super-fast broadband to the whole of
the UK. BT’s expansion of fibre optic cabling will only reach
two-thirds of the country, leaving the government to rely on
smaller firms to plug the rest of the gap in order to reach its
target of making super-fast broadband nationally available.
Smaller companies are being deterred from involvement by the
high price being charged by BT for allowing fibre optic networks
to connect to the national network, which can be about 93.36
pounds for each household.

Business Digest