The $4.6 billion bid by Toll Holdings for Patrick Corp is
getting emotional, personal and now litigious, says Stephen Bartholomeusz in The Smage. Whether Chris Corrigan’s weekend assault on Paul Little’s
integrity, followed up yesterday with court action in relation to
their Pacific National joint venture, was genuine or tactical
isn’t, however, yet clear. It might be both. Two weeks after publicising its concerns that Toll had
short-changed Pacific National by $510 million over the life of a
20-year contract, Patrick applied yesterday to have the matter
heard in the Victorian Supreme Court, reports The SMH.

Capped mobile phone plans are causing serious problems for Telstra and Optus, says Tony Boyd in The Fin Review.
Once the two largest operators started matching Vodafone’s capped plans,
they began cannibalising their own customer bases – and the big winner
is the consumer. Now the intense competition between Australia’s telecoms has claimed
another victim – Optus has made a surprise profit downgrade just
two weeks after Telstra shocked the market by forecasting a decline
in earnings, reports The SMH. The telco said its profit
margins could plunge to 28% for the financial year to March
31, 2006, compared to a record 31% last year.

Orica and a consortium of investors led by
Macquarie Bank will emerge with leading positions in the international
explosives market after carving up Dyno Nobel, the company that gave
its name to dynamite and the famed Nobel Peace Prize, reports The Australian.

The Age reports that the
economy is about to catch a new wave generated by the global
commodities boom, but analysts warn it could be a dumper. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics is
predicting commodity export earnings will hit a record $117 billion
this financial year – 19% more than 2004-05.

On Wall Street, US stocks closed lower overnight after a new storm
pointing toward the already stricken Gulf of Mexico region drove prices
of crude and gas sharply higher, sparking worries about lower consumer
spending. The Dow Jones fell 84.31 points to 10,557 – MarketWatch has a full report here.