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Austria Politics

The German government has agreed a ban on the use of the controversial weedkiller glyphosate. Austria has already banned the chemical, which has been linked with cancer.
www.dw.com | 9/4/19
A top lawyer, Brigitte Bierlein, will lead a new government until autumn elections.
www.bbc.co.uk | 5/30/19
Austria's president has formally dissolved the country's government the day after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz lost a no-confidence vote in parliament.
www.foxnews.com | 5/28/19
As Europeans vote in one of the most consequential elections in recent E.U. history, Austria's populist coalition government, seen as a blueprint for several right-wing groups across the continent, is fighting for its political future.
www.foxnews.com | 5/25/19
Speculation is at fever pitch after a video results in the far right pulling out of Austria's government.
www.bbc.co.uk | 5/24/19
The Latest on the video scandal that's rocked the Austrian government (all times local): 6:50 p.m. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says he wants to fire interior minister over the video scandal that's rocked the government.
www.foxnews.com | 5/20/19

VIENNA – Austria raced on Saturday toward a snap election as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pulled the plug on his coalition with the far right after its leader was caught on video offering to fix state contracts...

www.nationnews.com | 5/19/19
Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called for new election on Saturday after a the release of a video showing his far-right Vice-Chancellor, Heinz Christian Strache discussing government contracts with an alleged Russian investor.
www.foxnews.com | 5/18/19
Austrian vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned Saturday after being caught in a secret video footage offering government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.
www.foxnews.com | 5/18/19
The Latest on Austrian politics (all times local): 12:45 p.m. Austrian vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache says he is resigning after two German newspapers published footage of him apparently offering lucrative government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.
www.foxnews.com | 5/18/19
Austria's vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache is expected to make a statement about his political future after two German newspapers published footage of him apparently offering lucrative government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.
www.foxnews.com | 5/18/19
Two German newspapers have reported that the leader of Austria's far-right Freedom Party offered government contracts in return for support from a potential Russian donor shortly before parliamentary elections.
www.foxnews.com | 5/17/19
A group of older women is galvanizing protests against the conservative-nationalist government in Vienna. But why stop there?
www.nytimes.com | 4/29/19
An anti-migration party that serves in Austria's government has called "tasteless" a poem written by a local official that compared migrants with rats and angered Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
www.foxnews.com | 4/23/19
It's not just China that wants to reduce anonymity online. Austria's government has introduced a draft law that would require you to provide your real name and address to larger sites before commenting. You could still use a nickname in public, but...
www.engadget.com | 4/21/19
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says his government is considering dissolving a far-right group after it emerged that a prominent activist had received a donation in the name of the suspected New Zealand mosque gunman.
www.foxnews.com | 3/27/19
The Polish government said Tuesday that it will not support a global compact seeking international cooperation on migration, citing national sovereignty as it joins countries including Hungary, Austria and the United States in rejecting it.
www.foxnews.com | 11/20/18
Austria's government said Friday that a retired colonel in the country's military is suspected of having spied for Russia for decades, a claim swiftly dismissed by Moscow.
www.foxnews.com | 11/9/18
The Austrian government said Wednesday that it won't sign a global compact to promote safe and orderly migration, citing concerns about national sovereignty as it joined neighboring Hungary in shunning the agreement.
www.foxnews.com | 10/31/18

The battle between 21st Century Fox and Comcast for British pay-TV company Sky PLC appears headed for a little-used aspect of how mergers and acquisitions are handled in the U.K.: An auction.

In the event that 21st Century Fox and Comcast find themselves at auction for Sky, here’s how the process plays out.

The U.K. Takeover Panel, which oversees all mergers and acquisitions, sets a deadline that, if there are still multiple suitors for a company, will trigger an auction to determine the winning bidder. The Takeover Panel does this to ensure that the company being acquired isn’t “under siege” for too long, while giving the shareholders for the potential buyers enough time to review all relevant materials from the proposal. Per the U.K.’s Takeover Code, that deadline is 46 days after the most recent offer is formally published with the U.K. Stock Exchange.

In this case, Fox and Comcast have until Saturday, 5 p.m. local time to either bow out or make their “best and final offer” for Sky. In the meantime, the three companies will negotiate the rules of the auction, which the Takeover Panel will formally announce on Friday.

Also Read: Comcast Drops Bid for Fox Assets to Focus on Sky Instead

Typically, the auction would last for five consecutive days, but the Panel allows for the parties to figure out the process themselves, as long as it doesn’t skirt any official rules. There have only been three British takeover situations since 2007 that have involved auctions handled by the regulator, per an analysis by Reuters.

The reason for Sky to take this to the auction stage would be to maximize the value for its shareholders, hoping the auction-style setting will force Comcast and Fox to keep one-upping each other.

Currently, Comcast holds the superior bid at $34 billion (£25.9 billion), roughly $2 billion higher than Fox’s offer of $32.5 billion (£24.5 billion). Comcast’s all-cash offer translates to £14.75 a share, which is roughly five percent higher than Fox’s £14 a share bid. Comcast’s offer has been recommended by the Sky Independent Committee of Directors.

Also Read: Comcast Increases Bid for Sky to $34 Billion

However, since Fox already owns 39 percent of the company, it needs only to convince another 12 percent to vote in its favor, whereas Comcast has to convince 51 percent of the board to vote in its favor.

With this headed towards an auction, it begs the question: Why does everyone want Sky so much?

More and more, U.S. companies have been looking internationally for a way to further build scale to compete against the rising tide of deep-pocketed tech companies — like Amazon and Netflix — invading their turf.

Sky’s businesses would grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. Sky counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

Also Read: Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Sky would fit in nicely with Comcast’s other assets, namely NBCUniversal, with its mix of entertainment, sports and news content. In February, Sky extended its rights deal with the English Premier League through 2022, among the world’s most popular (and thus, valuable) sports leagues. That would work well with Comcast, which holds the U.S. TV rights for the British soccer league via NBCUniversal, also through 2022.

Fox’s stake in Sky is part of its $71.3 billion sale of film and TV assets to Disney. CEO Bob Iger has previously referred to Sky as the “crown jewel” of Fox assets. Disney could use Sky’s broadband services to launch its upcoming service, which will debut at the end of 2019, in Europe.

Also, there’s a bit of corporate gamesmanship involved. Comcast made its own bid to buy the Fox assets instead of Disney, which forced Disney to increase its offer from its initial $52.4 billion that Fox accepted last year.

You can imagine that Iger would love to return the favor.

21st Century Fox declined to comment for this story, while representatives for Comcast and Sky did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Comcast Drops Bid for Fox Assets to Focus on Sky Instead

British Government OKs Fox's Bid to Buy Sky

Comcast Increases Bid for Sky to $34 Billion

www.thewrap.com | 9/20/18

The Politics of Austria take place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, with a Federal Chancellor as the head of government, and a Federal President as head of state. Executive power is exercised by the governments, both local and federal. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the National Council and the Federal Council. Since 1949 the political landscape has been largely dominated by the conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the center-left Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ). The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, and exclusively federal in nature: there are no state courts. The ethnically and culturally heterogeneous nation state of Austria is the remnant of Austria-Hungary, a vast multinational empire that ceased to exist in 1918. The Austrian Republic was preceded by a constitutional monarchy, whose legislative body was elected by, as the New York Times put it, "quasi-universal (male) suffrage" for the first time in 1897. Austria's first attempt at republican governance, after the fall of the monarchy, was severely hampered by the crippling economic costs of war reparations required by the victorious Allies. Austria's First Republic (1918–1938) made some pioneering reforms in the 1920s, particularly in Vienna, that became the foundations for the social welfare states of post WWII Europe. However it gradually degenerated into a fascist dictatorship between 1933-1934 under Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, who was assassinated by Nazis in 1934. The First Republic ended with German invasion and annexation in 1938. Following the defeat of Germany in 1945 Austria resumed its republican government. The beginning of the 21st century marked, for Austria, a half-century of a stable government under a constitutional federal republican system. It is governed according to the principles of representative democracy and the rule of law. The constitutional framework of the politics of Austria and the marrow of the constitution's practical implementation are widely agreed to be robust and adequately conducive to peaceful change.


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