UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Nov 14, 2013

Shares in scandal-hit Serco dive after profit warning

LONDON (Reuters) – Serco Group Plc (SRP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the embattled contractor accused of overbilling the British government, took a raft of charges and warned of lower profits on Thursday as problems in Britain, Australia and the United States began to bite.

The company said operating profit would fall in 2013 and 2014, driving its shares down 10 percent to their lowest in more than four years and wiping around 250 million pounds ($400 million) off its stock market value.

Nov 13, 2013

Former UK editor Brooks was hacking victim, court hears

LONDON (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of Britain’s News of the World on trial for phone-hacking, had her own voicemail repeatedly targeted by the private investigator working for her newspaper, a court in London heard on Wednesday.

Brooks, a close confidante of Rupert Murdoch and Prime Minister David Cameron, was one of hundreds whose name was found in the notebooks of Glenn Mulcaire, who has pleaded guilty to voicemail interception on behalf of the now defunct Sunday tabloid.

Nov 12, 2013

Vodafone to ramp up investment as trading suffers

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will spend 7 billion pounds – more than expected, earlier than expected – to increase the speed and capacity of its networks and reverse a record fall in revenues resulting from its struggling European business.

The world’s second-largest mobile operator, which is using some of the proceeds from the $130 billion sale of its U.S. arm to Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to upgrade its infrastructure, said it would spend 3 billion pounds in Europe, 1.5 billion in its emerging markets and the rest on fixed-line assets and corporate customers.

Nov 11, 2013

BSkyB pays heavy price for Champions League loss

LONDON (Reuters) – BSkyB (BSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) saw more than 1.5 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) wiped off its stock market value on Monday after Rupert Murdoch’s dominant pay-TV operator admitted it had been out-muscled at its own game with the loss of Champions League soccer rights.

Shares in the British group, which had previously seen off three major challengers to its dominance of the home movies and sports market, tumbled more than 10 percent after it suffered its first major rights auction loss to once-staid telecoms company BT (BT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Nov 9, 2013

BT trumps Sky to show Champions League matches

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s BT has beaten BSkyB to win the right to show Champions League soccer from 2015, in the biggest blow to Rupert Murdoch’s dominant pay-TV operator since it started broadcasting more than 20 years ago.

BT, the 168-year-old former state telecoms monopoly, said it would pay 299 million pounds ($478 million) a season to add the glamour ties of Barcelona versus Manchester United and Real Madrid versus Bayern Munich to the English Premier League matches it already shows.

Oct 31, 2013

Murdoch editors Brooks, Coulson had affair, British hacking trial told

LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson,
former editors of Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World
tabloid, had a six-year affair at the time their reporters
hacked phone messages of politicians and royalty, a London court
heard on Thursday.

Revealing their close ties, prosecutor Andrew Edis said the
intimacy of their relationship indicated both knew as much as
the other about the criminal activities of senior journalists on
the paper.

Oct 31, 2013

Murdoch editors Brooks, Coulson had affair, hacking trial told

LONDON (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, two former editors of Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World tabloid, were having an affair at the time their reporters are accused of hacking into phones, a court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis said the intimacy of their relationship indicated each knew as much as the other about how their reporters were operating. Both have denied conspiring to hack into phones or making illegal payments to public officials.

Oct 31, 2013

Murdoch staff turned to hacking in ‘dog-eat-dog’ world, court hears

LONDON (Reuters) – Reporters on Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World repeatedly hacked the phones of senior politicians and even rival journalists in a desperate bid to get ahead on salacious front-page stories, a London court heard on Thursday.

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, two of Britain’s most high profile former newspaper editors, are on trial with six others accused of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages and make illegal payments to find exclusives when they ran the now defunct Sunday tabloid and its daily sister tabloid, the Sun.

Oct 31, 2013

Demand for sport lifts BT second-quarter results

LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Britain’s BT reported
second-quarter profit ahead of forecasts on Thursday, as strong
demand for broadband and sports TV got the group off to a
winning start under new Chief Executive Gavin Patterson.

The 168-year-old former state telecoms monopoly, revealing
the impact of a push to offer sports channels along with its
core broadband offering, said consumer revenue was up 4 percent,
its best performance in 10 years.

Oct 30, 2013

Murdoch editors must have known of phone hacking, court hears

LONDON (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks, a former top editor, and Andy Coulson, Prime Minister David Cameron’s ex-media chief, oversaw a system of phone-hacking and illegal payments when they ran Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloids, a London court heard at the start of their trial on Wednesday.

Setting out the prosecution case, Andrew Edis said Brooks was linked to both phone-hacking that ruined the tabloid News of the World and the practice of paying public officials for stories at its sister newspaper, the Sun. Brooks, 45, later ran Murdoch’s British newspaper division from 2009 to 2011.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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