UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Apr 8, 2013

EU regulators to approve $15.8 billion Liberty, Virgin deal – sources

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – John Malone’s Liberty Global will get unconditional EU clearance for its $15.8 billion (10 billion pounds) bid for Virgin Media, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday, in a move which pits the U.S. billionaire against rival Rupert Murdoch.

Liberty Global, Europe’s No. 1 cable operator, unveiled the takeover offer for Britain’s second-biggest pay-TV provider in February. The move underscores the growing rivalry between cable groups and traditional telecoms operators.

Apr 5, 2013

British music retailer HMV handed lifeline

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) – Britain’s most high-profile
entertainment retailer HMV was handed a lifeline on Friday when
a turnaround group bought it, ensuring a future for a firm which
gave the Beatles one of their first big breaks.

Opened on London’s Oxford Street by English composer Edward
Elgar in 1921, HMV was bought by restructuring specialist Hilco
in a deal worth about 50 million pounds ($76 million), a person
familiar with the situation said.

Apr 4, 2013

Major telcos and investor Soros set sights on Myanmar

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) – China Mobile, Vodafone
and a group backed by George Soros entered the race to
secure a mobile licence in Myanmar, as the battle to operate in
one of the last major untapped markets kicked off.

The Chinese and British groups, the first and second-largest
operators in the world respectively, said on Thursday they had
formed a consortium to bid for a licence in the former Burma,
where the government wants to increase the number of mobile
operators from two to four.

Apr 4, 2013

Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom in new wholesale talks-source

LONDON (Reuters) – Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is in talks with Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to agree a wholesale deal that would enable the British group to offer its German customers superfast broadband and a TV service, a person familiar with the situation said.

Vodafone, traditionally a mobile-only company which has to rent fixed lines in wholesale deals to offer broadband in some markets, has come under pressure from investors and analysts to show how it can compete with cable TV groups and telecom firms who can lure customers with a combined offer for mobile, fixed calls, broadband and TV.

Apr 3, 2013

Verizon bid denial sharpens Vodafone wireless focus

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) – With the prospect of a full
takeover off the table for now, Vodafone investors
switched focus on Wednesday to whether the British group might
sell its best performing asset, its $115 billion stake in
Verizon Wireless.

Vodafone shares closed down 3 percent after Verizon
Communications said late on Tuesday it had no intention
of buying the world’s second largest mobile operator, following
months of speculation.

Apr 3, 2013

Vodafone shares drop after Verizon rules out takeover

LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fell on Wednesday after Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) ruled out a full takeover, turning the focus yet again to whether the two telecom giants can do a deal over their Verizon Wireless joint venture.

The British group’s shares have risen more than 25 percent this year on hopes that it would sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for around $115 billion and end an often fractious relationship.

Mar 28, 2013

Recession risk persists, current account gap soars

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain looks headed for recession and its current account deficit last year was the worst since 1989, data showed on Wednesday, dimming government hopes of a growth boost from exports and investment.

The Office for National Statistics confirmed that gross domestic product dropped 0.3 percent in the October-December period compared with the previous quarter, dragged down by sharp falls in industrial production and exports.

Mar 27, 2013

Weak industry, exports push UK towards another recession

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – Sharp falls in industrial
production and exports shrank Britain’s overall output at the
end of 2012, data confirmed on Wednesday, pushing the economy to
the brink of a “triple-dip” recession.

The Office for National Statistics said that gross domestic
product dropped 0.3 percent on the quarter in the
October-December period. Compared with a year earlier, GDP grew
0.2 percent, slightly less than estimated earlier.

Mar 26, 2013

UK “snoopers charter” pits privacy against security

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – At the height of an
investigation into a group of Islamists plotting al
Qaeda-inspired bomb attacks across Britain in 2004, British
spies analysed more than 4,000 telephone contacts to build up a
picture of what they were planning and with whom.

The security services say the information was crucial in
helping to thwart what could have been one of the deadliest
attacks on Britain and to bring the cell to justice.

Mar 25, 2013

Schroders agrees Cazenove deal in private wealth push

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – Fund manager Schroders Plc
is to pay 424 million pounds ($646 million) for smaller
rival Cazenove Capital, as it moves to bulk up its private
banking arm running money for wealthy clients.

The agreed transaction, announced on Monday, is the largest
in Schroders’ over 200-year history and means two of London’s
oldest names coming together under the same roof.

    • 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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