UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Jun 12, 2013

Vodafone moves for Kabel Deutschland in quad-play push

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – British mobile firm Vodafone has approached Kabel Deutschland about a bid for Germany’s biggest cable operator that could top 7 billion euros ($9.3 billion) and help fend off competition in its most important European market.

The world’s second-biggest mobile operator has long been linked with a move for the cable group as it seeks to meet the demands of customers who increasingly want to take television, broadband, mobile and fixed-line services – so-called “quad play” – from one provider.

Jun 11, 2013

Britvic plays down chances of reviving AG Barr merger

LONDON (Reuters) – British soft drinks maker Britvic Plc (BVIC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) played down the chances of resurrecting merger talks with smaller rival A.G. Barr Plc (BAG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), after the proposed deal was finally given the blessing of the competition watchdog.

Irn Bru-maker A.G. Barr and Britvic, behind the Robinsons and Tango brands, had agreed an all-share merger in November, which lapsed in February when the Competition Commission launched its investigation.

May 24, 2013

BA jet makes emergency landing after engine fire

LONDON (Reuters) – A British Airways plane with 80 people on board made an emergency landing at London’s Heathrow airport on Friday after the right engine burst into flames shortly after take-off and the casing ripped away from the left.

The British carrier, part of IAG, said all 75 passengers and five crew members were safe after having been evacuated from the aircraft down emergency chutes on landing.

May 22, 2013

Pearson agrees $75 mln settlement in U.S. e-books case

LONDON/NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) – British publisher
Pearson’s Penguin unit said on Wednesday it would pay
$75 million in damages plus costs to U.S. states and consumers
as part of an agreement over alleged price-fixing in the e-book

Pearson, which will take an extra provision on its accounts
this year after setting aside $40 million in 2012, had already
reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department in the
e-book pricing case.

May 21, 2013

Vodafone keeps Verizon payout after European weakness

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Vodafone posted the
largest ever fall in its main revenue measure on Tuesday,
forcing it to keep a dividend from its healthy U.S. arm to
compensate for a slump in southern Europe.

The world’s second largest mobile operator, at the centre of
intense speculation as to whether it will sell its stake in U.S.
business Verizon Wireless in one of the world’s largest deals,
said it had also been hit hard by regulatory cuts and the timing
of last year’s leap year.

May 17, 2013

All eyes on Vodafone’s Colao for signs on Verizon

LONDON (Reuters) – After months of speculation, Vodafone’s (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Vittorio Colao will be under pressure next week to set out whether he may sell its prized stake in Verizon Wireless in what would be one of the biggest deals ever.

Chief executive for five years, Colao has said only that he has an “open mind” on Vodafone’s 45-percent stake in the U.S. operator, whose majority owner, Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), is interested in buying out the British company’s share.

May 16, 2013

Vodafone to offer German pay-TV after Deutsche deal

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – Vodafone will be able to
offer pay-TV over high-speed broadband to its German customers
under a new deal with Deutsche Telekom, broadening
its appeal in the British firm’s most important European market.

The move, reported by Reuters in April, is designed to
prevent customers defecting to superfast cable services and cuts
the need for Vodafone to make acquisitions in its largest
European market, which has recently turned more competitive.

May 14, 2013

Severn Trent confirms Borealis and Kuwait takeover approach

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – British water company Severn
Trent confirmed it had received a takeover approach from
a consortium including Borealis Infrastructure and the Kuwait
Investment Office.

The move is the latest example of interest in British water
companies among yield-hungry investors.

May 10, 2013

BT shares hit 5-1/2 yr high after results top forecasts

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) – Britain’s BT underlined
its return to form ahead of its pending pay-TV battle with BSkyB
, raising its outlook after improvements across the board
helped it beat forecasts and send its shares soaring.

The former state telecoms monopoly, which was brought low in
2008 by a series of profit warnings, posted full-year results
ahead of consensus and showed for the first time it could be
close to returning to overall revenue growth.

May 9, 2013

BT offers free UK football action in challenge to Sky

LONDON (Reuters) – BT turned the British pay-TV market on its head on Thursday by offering free English Premier league football matches to its broadband customers in a direct challenge to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB.

The news, released at a high-profile launch for the BT Sport TV channels at the Olympic Park in London, sent shares in BT and its rivals tumbling in a sign of how nervous investors are that the telecom giant could drive aggressive sector restructuring.

    • 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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