UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Jul 29, 2013

Ad groups scramble after Publicis-Omnicom shake-up

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – A plan to merge Publicis PUB.PA and Omnicom (OMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) into the world’s biggest advertising group has begun a scramble by rivals to poach their blue-chip clients worried the new agency might face conflicts of interest.

Without any defections, the Franco-U.S. giant would bring the accounts of major competitors in a number of industries such as Apple and Samsung, or Coca Cola and PepsiCo, under one roof.

Jul 28, 2013

WPP’s Sorrell sees more deals after Publicis Omnicom

LONDON (Reuters) – Martin Sorrell, head of world No. 1 ad group WPP, congratulated long-time rival Maurice Levy on persuading Omnicom to merge, adding that further consolidation was inevitable in the industry.

Sorrell was reacting to news that France’s Publicis and U.S. group Omnicom had agreed to combine in a deal that would catapult the world’s third- and second-largest advertising companies above UK-based WPP.

Jul 26, 2013

BSkyB to upgrade set-top boxes and content to fend off BT

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – BSkyB plans to provide
more and cheaper ways to access its premium content and Internet
services to counter cash-rich rival BT’s offer of free
Premier League football to broadband customers.

The group, which has dominated pay-TV in Britain since
Rupert Murdoch launched it in 1989 and reaches 10 million homes,
said it would invest about 70 million pounds ($100 million) in
the next financial year to improve on-demand programming and
connectivity.

Jul 25, 2013

BT chief signs off with turnaround set fair

LONDON (Reuters) – Outgoing BT (BT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boss Ian Livingston is set to leave on a high note after results that carried all the hallmarks of his five years at the telecom operator’s helm, with costs down, profits up and investment in place for the future.

His successor, head of retail Gavin Patterson, will step into the chief executive role with the company’s stock trading near a six-year high after a recovery from the two major profit warnings Livingston delivered at the start of his tenure.

Jul 24, 2013

Smartphone demand boosts EE and Carphone

LONDON (Reuters) – Demand for high-end smartphones on long-running contracts helped Britain’s largest mobile operator EE and phone retailer Carphone Warehouse to post better than expected results on Wednesday.

EE, owned by Orange and Deutsche Telekom, said it had grown first-half earnings by 9 percent and posted its highest ever margins as demand for mobile contracts, including those running on its superfast fourth generation network, jumped ahead.

Jul 24, 2013

Smartphone demand boosts Britain’s EE and Carphone

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Demand for high-end smartphones
on long-running contracts helped Britain’s largest mobile
operator EE and phone retailer Carphone Warehouse to
post better than expected results on Wednesday.

EE, owned by Orange and Deutsche Telekom
, said it had grown first-half earnings by 9 percent
and posted its highest ever margins as demand for mobile
contracts, including those running on its superfast fourth
generation network, jumped ahead.

Jul 19, 2013

Vodafone sees no let-up from European woes

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – Vodafone said it did not
expect any let-up in the pressures weighing on its business, as
the world’s second-largest mobile operator reported
first-quarter results hit by regulation and recession across
Europe.

The British group, which has been battling regulator-ordered
price cuts, economic pressures and competition throughout its
European markets, said on Friday it expected the next three
months to follow broadly the same trends after reporting yet
another sharp drop in its key revenue measurement.

Jul 14, 2013

Analysis: Charges unlikely, but Murdoch tape won’t help his business case

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The recall of Rupert Murdoch to a committee of the British parliament over a secret tape of him dismissing the alleged illegal behavior of his journalists is likely to cause personal embarrassment for the world’s most famous media mogul but no criminal charges.

It could, however, further complicate his business dealings in Britain, where his firm has long wanted to take full control of the pay-TV group BSkyB and where it is still locked in negotiations with the government over regulation of the press.

Jul 14, 2013

Charges unlikely, but Murdoch tape won’t help his business case

LONDON/NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) – The recall of Rupert
Murdoch to a committee of the British parliament over a secret
tape of him dismissing the alleged illegal behaviour of his
journalists is likely to cause personal embarrassment for the
world’s most famous media mogul but no criminal charges.

It could, however, further complicate his business dealings
in Britain, where his firm has long wanted to take full control
of the pay-TV group BSkyB (BSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and where it is still locked
in negotiations with the government over regulation of the
press.

Jul 11, 2013

UK puts G4S and Serco under review after tagging fiasco

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) – Britain on Thursday placed all
contracts held by outsourcing firms G4S and Serco
under review after an audit showed they charged for
tagging criminals who were either dead, in prison or never
tagged in the first place.

The news, which wiped millions of pounds off the firms’
value, was the latest blow in a torrid spell for G4S which makes
around 10 percent of its 7.5 billion pounds turnover from
British government work.

    • 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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