UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Jun 24, 2014

Protégée’s acquittal boosts Murdoch, but spell over UK politics broken

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – The acquittal of Rupert
Murdoch’s protegee over phone hacking at his News of the World
tabloid is a relief for the 83-year-old tycoon and his
businesses, although his 40 year spell over British politics is
probably still broken for good.

A jury on Tuesday found former News of the World editor Andy
Coulson guilty of conspiracy to hack into voicemail messages.
But Murdoch’s protegee Rebekah Brooks was cleared of those
charges, as well as accusations of making illegal payments to
officials and perverting the course of justice.

Jun 24, 2014

Murdoch protegee Brooks cleared of all hacking charges in UK trial

LONDON (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks, the former boss of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper arm, was acquitted on Tuesday of orchestrating a campaign to hack into phones and bribe officials in the hunt for exclusive news.

A jury at London’s Old Bailey cleared Brooks unanimously but found Andy Coulson, Prime Minister David Cameron’s former media chief and ex-editor of one of Murdoch’s British titles, guilty of being part of the phone-hacking conspiracy after a seven-month trial.

Jun 23, 2014

Ghana deny match-rigging report, file complaint

LONDON (Reuters) – Ghana’s Football Association (GFA) denied British media reports on Monday that it had agreed to rig international matches and asked Ghanaian police to investigate two GFA officials the reports linked to the deal.

The Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 television’s Dispatches programme in London said they uncovered the case during a six-month investigation into match-fixing.

Jun 23, 2014

Soccer-Ghana deny match-rigging report, file complaint

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – Ghana’s Football Association (GFA) denied British media reports on Monday that it had agreed to rig international matches and asked Ghanaian police to investigate two GFA officials the reports linked to the deal.

The Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 television’s Dispatches programme in London said they uncovered the case during a six-month investigation into match-fixing.

Jun 20, 2014

Shire rejects AbbVie $46 billion takeover bid

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – British drugmaker Shire
has rejected a 27 billion-pound ($46 billion) takeover offer
from AbbVie, the latest attempt by a U.S. healthcare
firm to tap into the London-listed group’s low tax rate.

Shire, which has no single controlling shareholder, has been
seen as a prime takeover target for U.S. drugmakers due to its
attractive rare diseases business and tax base, which is
currently in Ireland.

Jun 19, 2014

BT shares rise after TalkTalk complaint rejected

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s BT Group Plc
received a double boost on Thursday, as the telecoms regulator
rejected one complaint over how it priced its flagship superfast
broadband product and suggested manageable remedies to avoid
disputes in future.

Shares in BT were up 2.3 percent.

BT has turned around its business in recent years by
building a fibre network that has driven the uptake of broadband
services, both by consumers and by rivals who take the lines on
a wholesale basis to offer them to customers.

Jun 17, 2014

Swann’s SSP hopes to raise 500 mln stg with London listing

LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) – Unfazed by a volatile IPO
market, retail industry veteran Kate Swann plans to raise around
500 million pounds ($840 million) through a London listing of
food and drink company SSP in the next few weeks.

Swann, who has spent 25 years in British retailing and joined
SSP as chief executive last year, expects to draw on her 10
years running WH Smith to improve the fortunes of a
company that operates food and drink outlets in airports and
railway stations in 29 countries.

Jun 16, 2014

Vodafone targets “connected cars” with Italian deal

LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – Vodafone is buying an
Italian car electronics maker for 145 million euros ($197
million), seeking to get ahead in the race to connect more
products to the internet and offset slowing growth in its core
mobile phone business.

Telecoms and technology firms are looking to tap an expected
surge in demand for so-called machine-to-machine (M2M)
communications – or using the internet to get products from cars
and washing machines to turbines and medical equipment to carry
out more tasks, more efficiently.

Jun 8, 2014

British phone-hacking trial nears conclusion

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) – The jury in the seven-month trial
of two ex-Rupert Murdoch editors, one the media mogul’s head of
British newspapers and the other a close aide to the prime
minister, is expected to retire to consider its verdict this
week.

Judge John Saunders is likely to finish his summing up of
the high-profile case on either Monday or Tuesday, leaving the
eight women and three men of the jury to decide the fates of
Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and five others.

Jun 6, 2014

Six governments tap Vodafone calls

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s second-biggest mobile phone company Vodafone revealed government agencies in six unidentified countries use its network to listen to and record customers’ calls, showing the scale of telecom eavesdropping around the world.

The United States and Britain both came in for global scrutiny and criticism after Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), disclosed their vast phone, email and internet surveillance operations.

    • 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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