LONG LIVE THE KING: Last year, Vanity Fair called Rupert Murdoch "King of All Media," and with his unsolicited bid for Dow Jones & Co. Tuesday, he showed no signs of being dethroned. News Corp. revealed its interest in acquiring Dow Jones for $60 per share for all outstanding shares, which equates to approximately $5 billion. In a statement, Dow Jones said its board and trustees of the Bancroft family were evaluating the proposal. However, a Bancroft family representative later said there were enough shares against the proposal to stop the takeover.
Depending on what happens next, the bid could open up the floodgates for other big-money players, namely private equity. And Bloomberg was briefly mentioned as a counter bidder, although the company swiftly squashed such speculation. CNBC's initial report Tuesday sparked a busy day of trading in Dow Jones stock, which traded up 55 percent. But having control over Dow Jones, which includes the Wall Street Journal, could come in handy when Murdoch launches his new business channel later this year — a media outlet he has called more "business friendly" than rival CNBC.
Murdoch is certainly known to like powerful platforms, as evidenced by his willingness to absorb years of losses at the New York Post. The Journal would no doubt bring out his more serious side (don't expect a Page Six of the business world), although the newspaper in recent years has been expanding its softer features and coverage of the fashion world — not to mention chasing down those much-needed ad dollars.
It's unclear whether Murdoch's bid raises antitrust concerns. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment, but added that Murdoch and Dow Jones would be required to go through the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act process if the acquisition were completed. She added that the Justice Department had historically investigated mergers involving news organizations. — Amy Wicks