Battle for the Sky

Rupert Murdoch, or more accurately his son James, has decided to close The London Paper, the free paper usually found carpeting the floor of the capital’s tube stations.

Sad news for those who just can’t get through the day without the latest news of Amy Winehouse losing it or Britney Spears’ latest hair style. Be honest – we’ve all had a peek.
The Murdochs may have thrown in the towel when it comes to freesheets, but they are bulking up for the larger battle over competition rules across its TV broadcasting and online coverage.
The appointment of Office of Fair Trading (OFT) bigwig Andrea Appella as competition and regulatory chief for Europe and Asia points to the larger fight involving its TV broadcaster and broadband provider Sky (see story).
Ongoing battles with regulators over the rates Sky charges rival broadcasters and Murdoch’s bitter campaign against what he sees as the BBC’s monopoly across a range of media has kept lawyers at News Corp and Sky busy enough to be glad of the extra manpower.
Appella will be working alongside News Corp legal chief Jeff Palker and Sky general counsel James Conyers in a three-way battle with BT’s Gordon Muir and Virgin Media’s Bryan Hall, as the broadcasters attempt to expand their market share in the face of a regulatory crack-down.
The fight is well and truly on.


Also on Burges Salmon in further round of job cuts; Bird & Bird seals Chinese alliance; and Arsenal appoints first ever general counsel.