Good morning. Just a bit ago, we got word that 21st Century Fox’s bid to take full control of U.K. pay-TV giant Sky may face more regulatory scrutiny and delays. U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced this morning that she is “minded” to refer the decision about whether to allow Fox to complete its £11.7 billion ($15.2 billion) purchase of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own to the competition authorities for more investigation into the combined company’s influence over U.K. media. Ofcom, the U.K.’s communications regulator, found in its assessment that recent scandals at Fox in the U.S. represented “significant corporate failures” but didn’t affect its ability to adhere to U.K. broadcasting standards. Sky and Fox have until July 14 to make remedies to avoid a referral. (Reminder that 21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal-owner News Corp share common ownership.)
Nike has resisted Amazon’s advances for years. Nike refused to provide its goods for the e-commerce giant to sell because it wanted more control over the pricing and display of its sneakers and sporting apparel. But Nike recently capitulated and has begun selling its products directly on Amazon, in part so it can muffle the hordes of unofficial third-party resellers who are hawking its goods on the site, The Wall Street Journal reports. This month, Amazon told those sellers they will soon need to stop selling certain Nike items.
—She’s Lost Control—
Cool companies like Nike consider Amazon “a site that sells items, not one that builds brands,” according to the report. This U-turn marks another direct example of Amazon’s gobbling up of the brick-and-mortar retail industry. As malls and retail chains throw down the shutters, Nike’s distribution network has become narrower. Ceding control of merchandising has become a necessary means of doing business and, as more people turn to Amazon as their first port of call when online shopping, Nike doesn’t have a lot of choice. On a related note: Digiday reports that some retailers think Amazon is “not a great partner” when it comes to sharing data.
At most news organizations, there is the expectation of a so-called “Chinese Wall” to separate editorial and commercial operations. But as traditional print advertising continues its precipitous fall and the majority of new digital spend is gobbled up by Facebook and Google, news organizations are increasingly turning to branded content to line their coffers, which is warping that traditionally solid barrier. Columbia Journalism Review has explored what it describes as the “increasingly slippery path between news and advertising” at the New York Times. The longread describes how the Gray Lady’s former executive editor, Jill…