Business stories of interest this week

Business stories from the past week, compiled by Jason Maywald:

1. Rumours swirl of a David Jones Myer merger

It’s the reluctant retail romance that refuses to die. Rumours abound that department stores Myer and David Jones are finally going to make it official and tie the knot.

That would leave Australia with just a single high-end department store chain.

Like the star-crossed lovers in Romeo and Juliet, the powers that be — in this case the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) — have historically been circumspect about the marriage. Chiefly because it would remove both stores’ largest competitor.

But times have changed, and retail watchers have told the intense competition of online shopping and depressed consumer spending, as well as the bottom lines of the pair, may mean a tie-up is now too tempting for regulators to turn down.


2. Nine entertainment and network ten offer $900m to keep cricket free to air

Nine Entertainment and Network Ten have put a new and improved offer on the table for Cricket Australia’s broadcast rights to keep the sport exclusively on free-to-air television for the next six years.

The new bid, understood to be valued around $150 million annually, or $900 million over the six years of the deal, would see Ten retain the Big Bash League while Nine would keep the Test matches. But international Twenty20 and 50 over matches would switch from Nine to Ten under the new offer.


3. Research finds 47 percent of Australian employees shop online

New research has found Aussie workers are indulging in a guilty habit at an unprecedented rate.

The data, from comparison site, has revealed 47 per cent of us — or nine million Australians — are guilty of online shopping or browsing at work.

And this lost productivity adds up — apparently, the habit costs Australian businesses $603 million in wages every single week — or $31.3 billion annually.

In 2017, the annual figure was $23.8 billion — so it seems our online shopping addiction is only getting more and more widespread.


4. Inside the million-dollar entrepreneurs club

It’s one of Australia’s most exclusive clubs but anyone has the potential to join. You just need to start up a business and get it to over $US1 million in turnover.

Welcome to the Entrepreneurs Organisation, a networking and support group for business owners which operates across Australia and has over 12,000 members worldwide.

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar is a former member along with Pet Circle founder Mike Frizell and Kikki.K founder Kristina Karlsson.


5. Murray Goulburn shareholders takeover by Saputo

Shareholders of Australian dairy processor Murray Goulburn have overwhelmingly approved the $1.3 billion sale of the co-operative to Canadian dairy giant Saputo amid some sadness over Murray Goulburn’s demise.

More than 98 per cent of proxies were voted in favour of the sale at the shareholders’ meeting in Melbourne on Thursday.

Murray Goulburn shareholders, who have been extensively briefed on the sale since it was announced in October 2017, appeared resigned to the sale, asking no questions on the resolution seeking their approval for the takeover.