US Industry summary Dec 18

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013

ABC News seeks to have US$1.2 billion 'pink slime' U.S. defamation suit dismissed

ELK POINTSouth Dakota (Reuters) - Lawyers for ABC News asked a South Dakota circuit court judge on Tuesday to dismiss a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against it over coverage of a beef product dubbed by critics as "pink slime," as the news outlet stood by its reports and cited free speech protections. Attorneys for Beef Products Inc, makers of "lean finely textured beef," argued that the case should go before a jury because ABC News agency knowingly defamed the company's product and damaged its business.

FCC withdraws proposal to relax media ownership rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has withdrawn a proposal to relax the ban on owning several media outlets in the same media market, an FCC official said on Tuesday. For decades, U.S. media markets have operated under rules that prohibit one owner from controlling both a newspaper and a television or radio station in a single market.

Mexican watchdog opens probe into telecoms and TV sectors

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's telecommunications watchdog has opened a probe into a complaint of excess concentration of power in the telephone and television markets, industries dominated by phone company America Movil and broadcaster Televisa. "The procedure is to determine whether there is a concentration that would have the object or effect of diminishing, impairing or preventing ... free competition in the markets identified," the government's official gazette said on Tuesday.

Exclusive: Comcast weighs three options for Time Warner Cable deal: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp is examining three scenarios for a potential deal with Time Warner Cable Inc, including a full takeover bid for the second-largest cable operator, people close to the situation said on Monday. Top cable provider Comcast is also considering whether it could buy some selective Time Warner Cable markets, or team up with another cable company besides Charter Communications Inc to bid for all of Time Warner Cable, the people said.

UK parliament condemns BBC, NY Times' Thompson over payouts

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers delivered a stinging rebuke on Monday to top BBC executives and trustees, including the corporation's former chief Mark Thompson, saying their award of severance payments to outgoing managers appeared to be part of a culture of cronyism. In a report which included an assessment of payments of 25 million pounds made to 150 departing BBC staff from 2009 to 2012, parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said many of them "far exceeded" contractual entitlements, that some of the justifications put forward were "extraordinary", and that the BBC's governance model was "broken".

U.S. clears Gannett purchase of Belo minus one TV station

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gannett Co Inc can move ahead with its purchase of Belo Corp as long as the deal does not include KMOV-TV, a St. Louis television station, antitrust enforcers at the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday. The station would give Gannett a dominant position in the St. Louis area if it were part of the deal, resulting in higher prices for advertisers, the department said in a statement.

Charter readies Time Warner Cable bid below $135 per share: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc is preparing to send an offer letter to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc as soon as next week, a source close to the matter said on Friday. The offer is expected to be less than $135 per Time Warner Cable share and will be a combination of cash and stock, said the source, who asked not to be named because the matter is not public.

Ad technology company Delivery Agent selects banks for 2014 IPO: sources

(Reuters) - Delivery Agent, an advertising technology company that allows TV viewers to shop for products they see on their favorite shows, has selected banks for an initial public offering, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The San Francisco-based company is working with Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse AG on an IPO which could come by the middle of next year and raise around $100 million, the sources said.

Vivendi names Herve Philippe CFO

PARIS (Reuters) - Media and telecom group Vivendi on Friday appointed Herve Philippe, a veteran executive at advertising agency Havas, as chief financial officer. He will take over on January 1 from current finance chief Philippe Capron, who is headed to the same post at Veolia Environnement.

Exclusive: NFL, DirecTV agree to framework for Sunday Ticket deal

(Reuters) - The National Football League and DirecTV have agreed on a framework for negotiations to renew the satellite TV operator's contract to offer the popular NFL Sunday Ticket football package the company uses to attract subscribers, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks. The two sides "are still in material negotiations," but extended their exclusive negotiating period to work through the remaining issues, according to one of the people. The talks might still not result in an agreement.- Reuters

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