The New York Times today is reporting that News Corp NWSA -0.22%. head Rupert Murdoch recently made a friendly bid to buy fellow media giant Time Warner TWX +17.07% for $80 billion. Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes reportedly rejected the deal. News Corp. confirmed that it made the offer but the companies are not in discussion right now.
Murdoch is a mogul who is not easily deterred. This probably won’t be the end of his attempts to buy the company. We’ve seen a ton of media consolidation lately with Comcast CMCSA +0.29% buying Time Warner Cable TWC -0.02% (a spin-off of Time Warner) and AT&T T +0.58% buying DirecTV. A combined News Corp. Time Warner would mean a massive combination of the people who make the content that goes down the pipes being bought and sold in the other big deals. It would cut the number of major Hollywood studios down from six to five.
None of these deals have yet been approved of by regulators in Washington concerned with anti-trust issues. But Murdoch must feel very sure that a Time Warner purchase would be approved or he wouldn’t have made the offer. According to the NYT article, under the terms of the proposed deal, Time Warner would sell off CNN since the station competes directly with News Corp’s Fox News
The Telegraph says this caps a "remarkable turnaround" for Murdoch:
Time Warner has rejected Rupert Murdoch’s $80bn takeover approach, but the octogenarian has a longstanding record of getting what he wants in the end.
It would cap a remarkable turnaround for the man and for his businesses. This time three years ago, the Murdoch media empire had just been plunged in a crisis by revelations that the News of the World had hacked into Milly Dowler’s voicemail.
The British newspaper was a tiny part of a vast global business covering television, film, books, satellite broadcasting, business data and digital media assets, but its misdeeds were grave enough the reaction to them strong enough for commentators to claim Mr Murdoch reign as the world’s top media owner was at an end.
The key decision on the road to recovery was made less than a year after the Milly Dowler scandal broke. In June 2012, News Corp announced it would split. One company, ‘new’ News Corp would be the holding company for Mr Murdoch’s publishing assets, including his British tabloids, which were still toxic at the time.
The other new company, 21st Century Fox, would safeguard the more profitable television and film assets.
It seems evil just lives on and on and on...
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