Your commercial news round-up: JP Morgan, Morrisons, Monzo Flex, Iceland, Google

updated on 16 September 2021

Happy Thursday, it’s nearly Friday! As you wait patiently for the weekend, why not grab your coffee, put your feet up and relax while we provide your daily dose of commercial awareness. You’ll soon be an expert on:

  • why the British public are against the privatisation of Channel 4;
  • who’s likely to win the Morrison’s bidding war;
  • Monzo’s latest feature;
  • why your local Iceland shelves might be a little scarce; and
  • why Google is being sued yet again!
  • British government have appointed JP Morgan to advice Channel 4 on its remit, ownership and obligations. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden approved the US investment bank to provide corporate finance advice yesterday. British MPs have put the publicly-owned broadcaster up for sale despite warnings it will damage independent producers, creative industries and make the remit less sustainable. Privatisation could also negatively impact young consumers, especially ethnic minority views. However, Dowden is confident that a “strong and successful Channel 4” will continue.
  • The Morrisons bidding war might be coming to an end as Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) reached an agreement with trustees over the supermarket’s pension schemes. The supermarket has been at the heart of a £7 billion bid between CD&R and a private equity firm Fortress. Initially, the takeover sparked fear in the British government because of its impact on the food industry. However, the agreement was reached on the terms of a “comprehensive mitigation package to provide additional security and covenant support to the schemes.” Sir Terry Leahy, senior adviser to CD&R funds, said the firm was “delighted” to have reached an agreement with the supermarket.
  • Monzo becomes the latest company to offer the popular payment service; the buy now, pay later (BNPL) services continue to grow. The online bank announced plans to launch a BNPL product called Flex. Monzo Flex will allow customers to “flex the things” they want and need by spreading the cost of purchases over three, six or 12 months. Monzo customers can borrow up to £3,000 using Flex and can repay over three months with no interest. Those who spread costs over six months will be charged only 19% annual interest. Monzo Flex offers customers the ease of splitting a transaction, editing your instalment plan and making an extra flex payment. Monzo is currently working on a virtual Flex card that will allow customers to pay directly from Flex in person and online – this feature will be available in a few weeks’ time.
  • As Iceland struggles with a serious shortage of lorry drivers; will Mums be going to Iceland this Christmas? The supermarket is forced to cancel 250 store deliveries a week, which will cause noticeable gaps on the shelves and a knock-on effect on sales. Iceland’s Managing Director, Richard Walker, said Christmas is under threat and criticised the British government for prioritising ballet dancers over lorry drivers. The UK’s post-Brexit shortage has revealed the shocking state of the labour crisis. The food and drink industry has called on the UK government to address the national lorry driver shortage.
  • South Korea has fined Google $177 million for blocking Android customisation. The tech giant just can’t seem to catch a break; last month South Korea passed an ‘anti-Google law’. The Korea Fair Trade Commission said Google’s contract terms amounted to an “abuse of its dominant market position that restricted competition in the mobile OS market”, according to Reuters. The US giant intends to appeal the ruling, claiming it undermines the advantages of the Android customisation enjoyed by its customers. This isn’t the first time Google is being slapped with a huge fine; three months ago, they were fined $123 million by Italy’s antitrust watchdog for abusing their dominant market position. Is it even a LawCareers.Net round-up is someone’s not getting sued?

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