UK gives nod to French tycoon’s BT stake

Britain said Tuesday that it had decided to take no action after French tycoon Patrick Drahi ramped up his holding in UK telecoms giant BT.

Authorities had in May ordered a national security probe after billionaire Drahi, who owns French media and telecoms empire Altice, had raised his BT stake late last year from 12.1 percent to 18 percent.

“Following careful consideration, the government will take no further action on the acquisition of 5.9-percent shares by Altice in BT,” a government spokesperson said.

“We will always act to protect our critical national telecoms infrastructure if we judge action is necessary.”

Drahi, who was already BT’s biggest shareholder, has insisted that he is not pursuing a takeover.

At the start of this year, Britain rolled out new rules to make it harder for foreign firms to buy UK assets amid national security concerns surrounding proposed takeovers by Chinese and US groups.

Under the National Security and Investment Act, overseas investors must notify authorities if they plan to buy any part of a UK business in sensitive sectors — such as defence, energy, telecoms and transport. (AFP)

Hive ransomware: modern, efficient business model

The US Justice Department’s shutdown Thursday of the Hive ransomware operation — which extorted some $100 million from more than 1,500 victims worldwide — highlights how hacking has become an ultra-efficient, specialized industry that can allow anyone to become a cyber-shakedown artist.

Usapang Bilyonaryo

Usapang Bilyonaryo” is a digital-first, hybrid magazine show hosted and produced by veteran broadcast journalist Ces Oreña-Drilon in cooperation with the team. The 30-minute TV cut airs on CNN Philippines at 8 PM every Monday, starting January 16. The full version or producer’s cut of each episode, as well as interview splices, will be posted on’s Youtube and Facebook accounts.


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