David Teather

BA in new price-fixing probe

A tip-off from Virgin Atlantic led to the price-fixing inquiry into British Airways (BA), it has emerged, marking a return to the hostile relations that existed between the two airlines during the ''dirty tricks'' campaign of the 1990s. BA was plunged into crisis after it said that the United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading and the Justice Department in the United States are conducting a joint investigation into allegations of price-fixing.

Roddick nets £130m from Body Shop sale

Anita Roddick, the campaigning businesswoman behind The Body Shop, made £130million on March 17 when she agreed to sell the high-street cosmetics chain to French beauty group L'Oreal. The sale was a surprising turn for Roddick, who founded The Body Shop from a single store in Brighton on the English south coast in 1976.

Vodafone chief victorious

Vodafone shares surged as investors bet that the cellphone company was ready to scale back its global operations after the apparent victory of chief executive Arun Sarin in a boardroom row. The company has already agreed to a deal to sell its Japanese business while its partner in the United States, Verizon, expressed interest in buying out Vodafone.

Pepsi now the ‘real thing’

The fizzy drink of choice at PepsiCo on December 12 was more likely to have been champagne than cola. By the end of trading on Wall Street that day, the company's market capitalisation reached ,4billion. For the first time in the history of the two companies, PepsiCo was valued more highly than its old arch-enemy.

Job cuts at GM

General Motors recently announced plans to cut 30 000 manufacturing jobs in North America, closing a dozen assembly and parts factories in an effort to staunch losses that have reached -billion so far this year.

Holy Disney

Disney is out to prove that you can serve God and Mammon after all and they are spending a fortune, by using religious institutions to market its new movies. David Teather reports.

Meeting with destiny

Known for his trademark cap and greying moustache, Ibrahim Ferrer who achieved fame as the singer of the Buena Vista Social Club, died last Saturday in Havana at the age of 78, writes David Teather.

New big man for Big Mac

McDonald's has announced another change of leadership after CE Charlie Bell stood down to battle cancer seven months into the job. Bell was diagnosed shortly after being appointed. The fast food chain named another company veteran, vice-chairman Jim Skinner, as his replacement. Bell (44) had taken the top job in May after the death from an apparent heart attack of former CE Jim Cantalupo.

The battle over Bush’s bulge

United States President George W Bush has long been lampooned by opponents as a puppet for the real brains in the White House. After his first presidential debate with John Kerry, internet bulletin boards have been hosting a growing clamour of rumours that they finally have the proof. A photograph, taken of the president from behind, appears to show a small bulge under his jacket, suggesting a hidden wire.

Soros scales back empire

Billionaire investor George Soros is giving greater control of his business to his sons, Robert and Jonathan, and at the same time scaling back his empire by spinning off several divisions. For years Soros (74) has devoted an increasing amount of time to philanthropy and is engaged in a concerted effort to unseat United States President George W Bush.

Scourging corporate America

Sean Harrigan has made powerful enemies. As president of Calpers, the United States's largest public pension fund, he is a thorn in the side of corporate America, taking on some of its best-known and biggest egos. Earlier this year Calpers led the call for the resignation of beleaguered Walt Disney boss Michael Eisner. It was also pivotal in ousting the former New York Stock Exchange chief over his eye-popping salary.

Kerry courts corporates

John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president, published a list of about 200 entrepreneurs supporting his run for the White House, in an effort to reassure voters of his moderate credentials. The list, not unexpectedly, included endorsements from players in the entertainment and fashion industries. Among the signatories were Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein and designer Donna Karan.

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