Barbie and My Little Pony could team up in rumoured Mattel-Hasbro deal ... and more

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Toy story: Barbie owner Mattel and My Little Pony owner Hasbro in rumoured merger talks
Toy story: Barbie owner Mattel and My Little Pony owner Hasbro in rumoured merger talks

Barbie and My Little Pony in potential clinch with rumoured Mattel-Hasbro merger

My Little Pony manufacturer Hasbro and Barbie toymaker Mattel are rumoured to be in talks about a possible merger, a deal that would form the world’s largest toy behemoth.

According to a report by Bloomberg News, Hasbro approached Mattel late last year with the offer of a deal and the two companies have been in on-off talks ever since. Both companies declined to comment.

The two companies have flirted with one another in the past, with Mattel making a $5.2bn offer for Hasbro in 1996, but the two sides parted ways.

A merger would result in the world’s biggest toy manufacturer. Mattel has lost market share to Danish company Lego, with the latter currently the world’s biggest toymaker.

Mattel reported a 4% fall in sales during its most recent quarter, a decline partly attributable to Hasbro taking over a lucrative contract for Disney’s Frozen licence.

Last week, Mattel announced it had added a number of new body shapes to its range of Barbie toys.

Source: Bloomberg

Vodafone pans Three owner’s price-freeze promise

Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao has ridiculed rival Hutchison’s claim that it would freeze mobile prices if the Three-O2 merger goes ahead, arguing that the pledge is "selectively worded".

Three owner Hutchison is attempting to buy O2 for £10.25bn &ndash: a deal that would give it 40% of the European market and which critics argue will undermine competition in the sector.

Hutchison promised that it would cap the cost of a minute’s voice call, a text or a megabyte of data. The announcement from the Hong Kong conglomerate was devised to counter concerns among European regulators that a merger would damage competition and send prices up.

But Vodafone's Colao said: "I’m not sure what a ‘price freeze’ means, because as far as investment goes I don’t know how you can commit to this."

Source: The Telegraph

Google accounts show it only paid £130m in corporation tax despite Osborne's claims

George Osborne’s brag that the treasury claimed back £130m in tax from tech giant Google has been undermined by findings that £33m of the figure was related to share options, not the much trumpeted corporation back-tax.

Filings by Google UK showed that £33m of the money paid to the Treasury was the result of a dispute over share options handed to staff, which Google had unsuccessfully argued were exempt from taxation.

The tech group’s accounts showed that chancellor Osborne was only able to claim back less than £100m, significantly less than the £130m he claimed, a figure that was already widely derided.

Source: The Guardian

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