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Friday newspaper round-up: Apple, NatWest, Elon Musk

The UK competition watchdog is teaming up with its counterparts in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in a drive to detect and investigate collusion between suppliers or shipping groups to hike prices. The Competition and Markets Authority said it was linking up with its fellow agencies in other “five eyes” nations after receiving “multiple complaints” from businesses about supply chains, where, for example, fees for shipping have soared by up to 10 times compared with pre-pandemic levels in the past two years. The CMA said that despite the complaints it was yet to find evidence of potential breaches of the law. – Guardian
A powerful investors’ advisory group has called for shareholders to vote against the $99m (£73m) pay package awarded to Apple boss Tim Cook last year. In a letter to shareholders, the advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) wrote there were “significant concerns regarding the design and magnitude of the equity award” made to Cook in 2021, adding that half of the award “lacks performance criteria”. – Guardian

The chairman of the influential Transport Select Committee has admitted that his own proposals to charge drivers per mile on the road threaten to slow the switch to electric vehicles. Huw Merriman is promoting radical plans to move to road pricing to help replace the £35bn drivers pay in vehicle excise and fuel every year. – Telegraph

NatWest faces a £2m damages claim after a senior worker who lost her job while going through treatment for bowel cancer won her unfair dismissal case. A London employment tribunal rejected the banking giant’s argument that 44-year-old compliance officer Adeline Willis’s £160,000-a-year job had been made redundant, ruling that her dismissal had instead been “tainted with discrimination”. – Telegraph

Tesla and its boss, Elon Musk, have accused America’s chief financial regulator of “going rogue” and of improperly targeting them with an “unrelenting” investigation to punish Musk for being an outspoken critic of the government, “chilling” his right to free speech. The accusation came in a letter to Manhattan district judge Alison Nathan, who presided over a 2018 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that started with a tweet from Musk, 50, saying he had secured funding to potentially take his electric car company private. The shares rose 11 per cent on the tweet. – The Times

Invesco will shut its Emerging European fund, which has substantial investments in Russian companies, next month after deeming it no longer commercially viable. The Invesco fund has 66 per cent of its portfolio invested in the shares of companies listed on the Russian stock market. Three of its five biggest holdings – the oil groups Gazprom and Rosneft, and the bank Sberbank – are majority-owned by the Russian state. – The Times

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