The six-month bare knuckle fight for trans-Tasman grocer Foodland ended with a $3.3 billion two-way deal between Metcash and Woolworths, which has grabbed its first offshore supermarket asset, reports The Australian. And Foodland shareholders are paying a high price for certainty, says Bryan Frith in The Australian. The tripartite deal is better than the original Metcash offer announced last December, but it’s worth less than the revised offer Metcash put on the table earlier this month.

Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett and Coles Myer boss John Fletcher have a history of doing different sums, and one of them is horribly wrong in New Zealand, says Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian. If Fletcher is wrong, it’s a big mistake because by not buying Foodland New Zealand he forfeits forever any chance of being the leading food retailer in Australasia. But whether Coles’ scepticism is justified by events or not, it seems to be a genuine conviction, says Stephen Bartholomeusz in the Smage.

The Schapelle Corby verdict will make tomorrow one of the biggest days for online news in Australian history, James Packer told advertising types at the annual ninemsn digital marketing summit in Sydney yesterday, reports Paul McIntyre in the Smage. “Unprecedented co-operation between the National Nine News journalists in Bali and the news resources of Nine and ninemsn here will see the most comprehensive coverage live across both media,” he said. Packer also called for companies to catch up with rapidly changing media consumption habits and move more of their advertising budgets online.

Village Roadshow chairman Robert Kirby yesterday said he had lied to former executive Peter Ziegler about the company’s proposal to offer him equity in its film production business, reportsThe Australian. Ziegler is suing Village in the Victorian Supreme Court for $76 million in compensation and claimed bonuses, for his role in setting up $US900 million in financing for the business.

A blow-out in construction costs and falling property prices have caused a dramatic increase in the number of residential sites listed for sale by developers who are unable to profit from them, reports the Fin Review.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks ended lower, with the Nasdaq snapping an eight-day winning streak on a spike in oil prices and a warning of further interest rate hikes from a Federal Reserve official. The Dow Jones finished down 45 points at 10,457. Marketwatch has a full reports here.