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Monday newspaper round-up: Gas prices, Virgin Money, OneWeb

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 20 Sep 2021

Monday newspaper round-up: Gas prices, Virgin Money, OneWeb

(Sharecast News) - Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, will hold an emergency summit with gas industry chiefs on Monday morning in an effort to contain the fallout caused by soaring market prices on consumers and businesses. Mid-level suppliers will be placed into administration if they fall into trouble this winter in an attempt to protect consumers from costlier bills, he revealed on Sunday, after spending a frantic weekend thrashing out contingencies for Britain's looming gas crisis. - Guardian

Campaigners have issued fresh calls for a windfall tax on companies that prospered during the pandemic, after research highlighted six firms that increased their profits by a total of £16bn. The outsourcing firm Serco and online clothes retailer Asos were among the companies that saw their global profits more than double over the last financial year, while one investment trust, Scottish Mortgage, saw its returns grow to nine times the average of preceding years. - Guardian

Brussels has opened the door to investing in OneWeb, the UK taxpayer-backed ­satellite broadband company, raising the prospect of a tie-up between Britain and the EU against Elon Musk's Starlink system. The European Commission has asked industry players and individuals to weigh in on the merits of backing a non-EU satellite provider as the bloc seeks to avoid being left behind in a global internet space race. Brussels has spent millions putting together proposals to build its own constellation of internet satellites but has made slow progress. - Telegraph

Virgin Money has been accused of "leaving charities in the lurch" by rejecting several takeover offers for its doomed charitable arm before pressing ahead with plans to shut it down. The Telegraph has learnt that the high street lender received a buyout offer from Virgin Money Giving's management, as well as a "blank cheque" proposal from a British entrepreneur. - Telegraph

Supermarket chains are trying to secure supplies of carbon dioxide after government talks with a big producer of the gas ended last night without a solution. Worries about empty shelves are increasing after operations at two fertiliser factories in northern England, which play a key role in the production of CO2, were shut last week because of the rising price of natural gas. - The Times

Pharmaceutical industry conferences have begun barring Vectura after Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, acquired the respiratory drugs company last week in a contentious £1 billion takeover. The Drug Delivery to the Lungs conference (DDL), billed as the premier conference and industry exhibition dedicated to pulmonary and nasal drug delivery, has terminated Vectura's sponsorship and the company's representative has stood down from its committee. - The Times

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