Displaying items by tag: Takeover

Manx Telecom accepts £255m acquisition cash offer

Written on Thursday, 14 March 2019 10:57

Manx Telecom has announced that it has received a takeover offer worth £255m pounds from Basalt Infrastructure Partners LLP.

Published in Telecom Operators

The European Commission has accused Facebook of providing them with false and misleading information in relation to its takeover of WhatsApp in 2014. At the time of the proposed takeover, the European Commission queried the social media giants on the topic of data sharing. Facebook insisted at the time of the takeover that it would be unable to establish automated matching between users ID’s on its social media platform with those on WhatsApp.

However, the European Commission has highlighted the latest update available to users on WhatsApp, which opens up the possibility of linking WhatsApp phone numbers with Facebook user ID’s. The European Commission believes this illustrates that the technology was available to do this when they bought WhatsApp two years ago.

The European Commission has stated on record that it has taken the ‘preliminary view’ that Facebook knew this technology was available to do this in 2014, but withheld the information from the EC in order to complete the takeover and avoid the thorny issue of data sharing and data protection.

The European Commission released the following statement, “Contrary to Facebook’s statements and reply during the merger review, the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook users’ IDs with WhatsApp users’ IDs already existed in 2014. At this stage, the Commission therefore has concerns that Facebook intentionally, or negligently, submitted incorrect or misleading information to the Commission, in breach of its obligations under the EU Merger Regulation.”

The European Commission has given Facebook until January 31st to respond to the accusations aimed at them.

The EC’s accusations come days after EU advisory group. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) raised further doubts on WhatsApp’s claim to have paused data sharing within the EU. In a letter to the company last week, the WP29 demanded “precise clarification” on how WhatsApp shares customer data within the region, adding it remains concerned “data exchange does still take place between WhatsApp and Facebook for purposes other than improving Facebook products and advertising experiences.”

The company in November said it paused data sharing on EU customers. In response, the working group requested further confirmation on this point and requested “comprehensive information” on how the company proposes using customer data going forward.

The WP29 launched an investigation into Facebook’s privacy policies in October, following a change to the IM platform’s policies in August, which the advisory group believed could lead to the sharing of WhatsApp data including phone numbers to other companies within the Facebook group.

Published in Apps

An offer from 21st Century Fox to buy Sky TV has sparked a major political row in the UK – as Rupert Murdoch makes his bid to reassert total control in the company. The billionaire media mogul was forced to take a step back from Sky in 2010 – following the phone hacking scandal. However, Murdoch who owns 21st Century Fox has now made a fresh offer of 18.5bn for Sky TV.

The bid has seen shares in Sky TV rocket by over 30% since the announcement of the bid emerged. But news of the potential takeover has been met with anger in some quarters with former Labor leader Ed Miliband calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to move swiftly to block the takeover bid and refer it to the CMA(Competition and Markets Authority).

Miliband tweeted: “Do we want Rupert Murdoch controlling even more of the media landscape? No. Government must refer bid for Sky TV to CMA/Ofcom. He added the following in a separate tweet. “On the steps of Downing Street, Theresa May said she would stand up to the powerful. No better test than Murdoch bid for Sky. Over to you.”

The chief executive of 21st Century Fox is Mr Murdoch's son James, who is also Sky's chairman - and he was the predecessor to Sky's current chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

His son's return to the company, after he was forced to resign when the Murdoch media empire became engulfed by public outrage at reports of phone-hacking at the Murdoch-owned News of the World newspaper, led to rumours that Rupert Murdoch would make a fresh swoop for the UK-based satellite broadcaster. His empire abandoned its bid in 2011 because it was 'too difficult to progress in this climate'.

When he started the bid in 2010, his portion of Sky and his British newspapers were part of the same company, but they have since been split up. His bid vehicle owns Fox television and film studios, but not the Sun and the Times newspapers.

MP Chris Bryant waded into the row and tweeted: “It would be bad for our broadcasting ecology, for UK political life and for media plurality for Murdoch to be allowed to take back Sky.”

If the deal is confirmed, culture secretary Karen Bradley will have 10 working days to decide whether she will issue a public interest intervention notice (PIIN).That will need to detail the concerns she has with the deal - she could raise concerns about whether Rupert Murdoch is a 'fit and proper' person, or highlight issues of competition.

If she submits a PIIN, Ofcom will conduct an initial investigation within 20 days. If it has concerns, Ms Bradley will have to ask Fox to address any issues, and decide whether to accept what they suggest.

A rejected compromise would send the bid to the Competition and Markets Authority for full review, which could take up to six months. After their scrutiny, Ms Bradley will have 30 days to block, or approve the deal with conditions. Many believe Ms. Bradley will have to submit a PIIN because to do nothing could lead to accusations of bias. 

Published in Finance