AT&T battle brews, France tackles ‘Jungle’, Brexit’s winners

Struggle with US regulators over proposed takeover of Time Warner

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AT&T faces an uphill battle to convince US regulators that its proposed $85.4bn takeover of Time Warner will not unfairly distort the media and communications industries after opponents of the deal said the combined entity would wield too much market power. The deal sparked immediate opposition over the weekend. Donald Trump has said that, if elected, he would block the proposed deal and Hillary Clinton’s team has also expressed misgivings.

By buying Time Warner, AT&T is betting it can succeed where AOL failed. The odds are in its favour, but the type of vertical integration it is betting on can only do so much: just ask Sony about its 1989 acquisition of Columbia Pictures. Still, AT&T will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Comcast, whose 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal seems to have paid off.

Lex tends to be more cautious on the marriage of telecoms and media, while some observers wonder whether the deal might signal the start of a new phase of media industry consolidation. (FT, Reuters)

In the news

France starts to demolish the ‘Jungle’ French authorities have started a controversial operation to tear down a makeshift camp in Calais and relocate 9,000 migrants to more than 100 smaller centres across the country. The move comes less than six months before presidential elections in which the anti-immigration far-right National party is expected to make a strong showing. (FT)

The Brexit winners Four months after Britain’s vote to leave the EU, there have already been winners and losers, mainly because of the sharp fall in sterling. On the winning side are overseas buyers of property, corporate lawyers, some exporters, stock market investors and the tourism industry. (FT)

Read our daily Brexit Briefing. FT subscribers can sign up to receive it daily by email here.

Venezuela pays its bills Citizens are heading across the border to buy basic groceries, infant mortality is rising and inflation is at 500 per cent. But Venezuela’s bonds are the best performers in emerging markets this year — with investors pocketing a 46 per cent return. (WSJ)

Chinese money begins to look a bit less attractive Germany has withdrawn approval of the Chinese takeover of Aixtron, a German semiconductor group, amid growing concern in Berlin about China’s appetite for German industrial companies. Chinese companies have been buying German companies at the rate of one a week since January, according to Dealogic. (FT, WSJ)

iPhone set for first annual sales fall Apple is expected to report its smartphone’s first decline in yearly purchases this week but Wall Street is hoping for a rebound in the run-up to Christmas. (FT)

It’s a big day for

China’s Communist party The Central Committee holds its sixth plenary session amid reports that President Xi Jinping has begun considering whether to extend the effective retirement age for the party’s top leadership. (FT, NAR)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s week ahead.

Food for thought

Where global warming is a good thing Inside Russia’s Arctic obsession where, as climate change melts the ice, Moscow hopes to resurrect the Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia. But the challenges — and the costs — are immense. (FT)

Death from overwork The suicide of a 24-year-old female employee who worked at advertising agency Dentsu, after graduating from a top university in Japan, has brought the issue of death by overwork back into the spotlight in Japan. (NAR)

What to do if your fridge has turned against you After hackers used a variety of mundane “Internet of things” devices to bombard a crucial service with online traffic on Friday, disrupting a large swath of the internet you might be feeling vulnerable. Here’s what you can do to make sure your smart egg tray doesn’t take down the global network. (FT, Mashable)

‘Extreme cruelty’ warning A Hong Kong judge has warned jurors to be prepared for images of “extreme cruelty and violence” as the trial of former British banker Rurik Jutting got under way. Mr Jutting has pleaded not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility to the torture and murder of two Indonesian women. (Reuters, BBC)

The third year of a US presidential term is the best time to invest Research shows investors can capture returns of 2.5 per cent per month for seven months, if they can just get their timing right. (FT)

Keep track of the 2016 presidential race with our daily US politics newsletter. Sign up here.

Video of the day

Sapone: the CEO on a butler start-up FT management editor Andrew Hill interviews Marcela Sapone, chief executive and co-founder of online concierge company Hello Alfred about the stresses of starting up, and dealing with high expectations. (FT)


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