Coronavirus, Flybe, Viagogo Stubhub merger: your commercial news round-up

updated on 13 February 2020

It’s the calm between the storms Ciara and Dennis, but all is not quite peaceful in the world. Take a read of our commercial news story summaries to find out which issues are affecting the business and legal worlds this week.

  • You can’t get very far without hearing mention of the Coronavirus, and as the ninth case in the UK is confirmed, the virus continues to affect all facets of society. In China, there have been almost 60,000 infections and over 1,350 deaths so far, with the superpower accused of suppressing the full extent of the outbreak. Meanwhile the smartphone showcase event, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled in Barcelona over coronavirus fears. On Monday the FTSE 100 opened down 0.2% in London, demonstrating that fears of an imminent epidemic will undoubtedly have an effect on the business world.
  • Flybe will find out this week how the government will financially support the ailing airline. It was announced at the beginning of the year that the government would be offering a bailout in the form of a £100 million loan, and this week government officials and airline stakeholders will meet to agree on the terms of the financial backing. Meanwhile the International Airlines Group and Ryanair are still threatening legal action over what they see as preferential treatment. For more on how to analyse this commercial issue, watch our latest video which uses the PESTLE technique to think about the implications of the bailout.
  • Challenger bank N26 is blaming Brexit as it announces it will close accounts for 200,000 UK customers by mid-April. The Berlin-based lender – which only began offering UK services after the 2016 EU referendum – has said that the “timing and framework” of the Withdrawal Agreement has made it impossible to continue operating in the UK.
  • Ticket reselling companies Viagogo and Stubhub’s planned merger has been put on hold as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) looks into the integration, worth £3.2 billion. Swiss company Viagogo announced that it was buying Ebay’s Stubhub in November last year, but the CMA has said that it is concerned the merger would give Viagogo too much power in the ticket resale market. The two companies must report every two weeks from the end of February to prove that they are still separate businesses.


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