Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rupert Murdock adds to his monopoly on US media

The fate of Dow Jones & Co. now rests with the Bancroft family, the longtime controlling shareholders, who must decide whether to sell the publisher of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The board of Dow Jones said late Tuesday it was ready to sign off on Murdoch's proposal to buy the company for $5 billion. However, the key remains with the Bancroft family, whose three dozen members have been deeply divided over whether to sell to Murdoch. The are expected to meet Monday to discuss the deal.

Dow Jones wound up agreeing to Murdoch's initial offer without a last-minute price increase, as efforts by some board members and a union representing Wall Street Journal reporters failed to come up with viable alternatives to Murdoch's $60-per-share bid, which represents a premium of about 65 percent over where Dow Jones shares were trading before the offer became public in early May.

If the Bancrofts do sink the deal, it would surely result in a sharp drop in Dow Jones shares and increase the likelihood of shareholder lawsuits. Huffington Post
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