Trinity Mirror and Northern & Shell raise regulatory hackles

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) halted the merger of the publishing assets of Trinity Mirror and Northern & Shell, and is inquiring into the merger’s likely impact on competition in the national newspaper market

The CMA will take into account efficiencies of £20 million in newsrooms, printing and advertising sales, which if realised could help sustain national news provision in a failing print market transitioning to digital services

Blockchain: Reinventing the wheel

Despite the hype, systems based on the technology underlying bitcoin are a poor match for most use-cases

The term 'blockchain' is nowadays applied to technologies with shared aims and ideals rather than technological unity; few if any of these aims require true blockchain, any many are double-edged swords

The promises of blockchain are seductive in the context of programmatic online advertising, but are over-sold

The Telegraph

30 April 2018 - 2:45pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Francois Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bollore, who has been arrested and interrogated over allegations of corrupt deals with African politicians. The Bollore-controlled advertising group Havas allegedly helped influence elections in exchange for the logistics contracts. Nevertheless, Bollore’s legal troubles are a gift to his Italian enemies. As well as the Berlusconi dynasty, he is up against Elliott Management, the US hedge fund controlled by billionaire Paul Singer and his London-based son Gordon. Francois said “there is no direct link between the African ports case and Telecom Italia. But Bollore’s arrest is obviously a boost to people arguing in Italy that he is not the right person to control Telecom Italia”. He added “things did not turn out as expected as AT&T, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and even Telefonica failed to bid. This battle with Elliott may reveal that Bollore does not really have control of Telecom Italia, undermining his stake’s value. Investing in Italy is like walking in quicksand and Bollore is now up to his chest.”

Grand new ideas for the content industry: Lessons from GDC 2018

Last month’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco was a triumphant showcase for crossover technologies and ideas designed to attract and engage new customers; ideas coming soon to all parts of the digital entertainment industry

Google and Facebook launched new “Instant App” technologies for game developers on their platforms, which will eventually have a significant impact on mobile app curation and discovery for not just games but the broader entertainment sector

The Economist

27 April 2018 - 9:55am -- Olga De Giovanni

François Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bolloré, who is being investigated over his business in Africa. The authorities suspect that Havas, a communications firm that Bolloré then owned, gave African politicians heavily discounted help in their election campaigns. Vivendi bought Havas last year in a manoeuvre that seemed to have “no industrial rationale” according to François. More troubling are Mr Bolloré’s missteps in Italy, in particular, Vivendi’s grab of Telecom Italia (TI), the former state provider, and its attempt to snatch Mediaset, the country’s biggest television broadcaster, from a firm belonging to the family of Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister. François judges that Mr Bolloré has “spectacularly failed” in Italy and that he—or his son—would sell TI given the chance. Along with all his headaches over Africa, he can count on little respite in Europe.

Sky Q3 2017/18 results: ever more attractive

Sky posted yet another set of solid results, with revenues up 5% and operating profits up 10%, despite weakening operating metrics in Germany & Austria

Deals with Netflix and Spotify will enhance the customer experience, signalling Sky's confidence in its platform, perhaps a sign of further deals to come

A successful outcome from February’s Premier League auction sealed the prospect of a takeover battle for Sky, with Comcast launching its formal bid this week

Retailing in the material world

Ecommerce has grown to 17.5% of retail spend, and accounts for almost all growth in spend. Physical retailers are beginning to feel the effects, with chains reporting falling profits and even bringing in administrators

The UK picture is muddied by a general lack of economic recovery, and irrelevant comparisons with the US. Finished goods stores, however, are clearly under extreme pressure

BBC News

26 April 2018 - 10:28am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on BuzzFeed who has announced a journalism-orientated documentary series produced in partnership with Netflix. Launching on 9 July, the weekly 20-show run of 15-minute episodes will go behind-the-scenes as its journalists pursue a variety of stories. Claire said "This is really one of the first times that Netflix seems to be interested in getting into news. I'm hesitant to think that Netflix will have committed massive budgets to this, but it's a way of expanding their schedule from drama, comedy and movies”. She added “both parties will be hoping that they'll kind of feed each other's audiences, and millennial audiences in particular".

Press Herald

26 April 2018 - 10:24am -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the U.S. media giant Comcast that on Wednesday offered 22 billion pounds ($30.7 billion) for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite television company. Comcast said it would pay 12.75 pounds for each Sky share, 16 percent more than Fox’s offer. Sky shares rose 3.9 percent to 13.59 pounds as investors bet Fox would sweeten its bid, and Sky withdrew its recommendation that shareholders accept the Fox offer. Alice said “That is very important mood music to the takeover panel.  The important thing about the Comcast bid is that they appear to match the remedy that has been offered by Fox”.

Brexit Update: Domestic Issues

Despite apparent instability of the political climate in Westminster, the direction of travel is predictable as both main parties share the aim of Brexit

The big fight in Parliament is over the future trade policy of the UK. Officially, the UK wants to agree a Free Trade Area (FTA) with the EU, while the Labour Party and Tory rebels hope a Customs Union (CU) prevails, binding the UK to the EU’s trade policy

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