News that the New Zealand dairy group Fonterra bowed out of the race for National Foods dominated the business media today. The Fairfax papers report today that Fonterra has decided to hand control of National Foods to Philippines-based rival San Miguel, and they also a neat timeline illustrating how the Nat Foods battle unfolded.

The Australian’sRobert Gottliebsen says the takeover will trigger more action in the Australian food industry, including greater participation in a new China export boom as well as potential changes to Australian brewing in the longer term. The Agesays the San Miguel deal means well-known brand names such as Pura Milk and Big M will now be in foreign hands.

Meanwhile, Fairfax’s Stephen Bartholomeusz weighs in on Helen Coonan’s issues paper on telecommunications competition regulation, noting that it’s incongruous that in the years since the regulatory regime was enacted, it has been continuously tightened rather than gradually liberalised, despite unequivocal evidence of increasing competition and, for Telstra, declining market shares.

And in a trend that can only be described as good news for Crikey and others on the net, The Agereports that the online advertising market grew more than six times faster than the overall ad market last year, to hit $388 million.

On Wall Street, Ford’s profit-warning – issued after the close on Friday – saw stocks struggle on Monday to finish slightly down, as the first week of the quarter’s earnings season got under way, says The Street.

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Peter Fray
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