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Friday newspaper round-up: Microsoft-Activision, KPMG, default rates

(Sharecast News) - The UK's competition watchdog has cleared Microsoft's $69bn (£54bn) deal to buy Activision Blizzard, the maker of games including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, in a move that paves the way for both companies to complete the transaction. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) moved to block the megadeal in April, citing concerns that Microsoft - maker of the Xbox gaming console - would dominate the nascent cloud gaming market. - Guardian Microsoft has paid HMRC £136m in back taxes under a deal with authorities over how it shifts revenues overseas, as the company fights a multi-billion dollar US tax bill. The software giant made the payment in the last 15 months under a "bilateral agreement" with HMRC, it disclosed in its most recent UK accounts. - Telegraph

The boss of the world's largest cinema chain has revealed he was blackmailed for hundreds of thousands of dollars after sending sexually explicit photos to a woman. Adam Aron, the outspoken chief executive of AMC Entertainment, said he fell victim to a failed catfish blackmailing plot last year. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Aron said he had been subjected to "elaborate criminal extortion" relating to "false allegations about my personal life". - Telegraph

Seven years after the collapse of Carillion with debts of £7 billion and the loss of 3,000 jobs, the full extent of KPMG's audit shortcomings has been laid bare in what the accountancy regulator called a "textbook failure". A report on the failings of KPMG's work by the Financial Reporting Council has found that the 2016 accounts of Carillion were signed off as a true and fair representation of Carillion's finances by Peter Meehan, the KPMG partner on the audit, fully six weeks before the firm had finished the audit. - The Times

Default rates for mortgages and credit cards by households are expected to rise by the end of the year, according to a Bank of England survey of lenders. The range of UK banks that have seen more secured loans default over the past quarter reached its highest level since 2009, during the credit crunch after the financial crisis, the Bank's data showed on Thursday. - The Times

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(Sharecast News) - Everton has paid about £30m in interest charges to an opaque lender associated with a tax exile, corporate records suggest. The charges appear to have reached about £438,000 a week, according to the troubled Premier League club's most recent set of accounts, a figure more than three times the reported wages of the Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. - Guardian
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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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