Dow Jones Denies News Corp. Buyout

    July 6, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

A report from British news site The Business that Dow Jones had officially been sold to Rupert Murdoch is being called untrue by spokespersons for both the Bancroft family, which owns Dow Jones.

Dow Jones Denies News Corp. Buyout
Dow Jones Denies News Corp. Buyout

TheBusinessOnline cited anonymous "sources acting for the Dow Jones board," though it’s unclear what was meant by that.

In the report, which the publication labeled "exclusive," The Business claimed Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion bid for Dow Jones was accepted, with editorial conditions set by the Bancroft family to ensure independence for the Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal.

The article also admits that Dow Jones issued a statement saying the report was incorrect, but later "refused to elaborate on the record." In fact, on the record, the Dow Jones statement simply reads:

An article published on this morning stating that an agreement in principle has been reached for the sale of Dow Jones & Company to News Corp. is incorrect.

End of statement. It’s easy to think, however, that someone spoke too soon. A deal between the two seemed eminent, as other possible suitors backed away from acquisition possibilities last week, and the WSJ published an article about how the company’s top three editors were protected by a "pact" to ensure editorial independence.

The initial report said an announcement was expected next week, and denials at this point may just be damage control. Statements from News Corp. seem noticeably absent.

The deal is significant because ownership of Dow Jones and its publication gives conservative-leaning Rupert Murdoch a huge boost of influence in the media, adding the WSJ to Fox, the New York Post, MySpace, and other powerhouses.

Integrating all the top media properties, online and off, seems to be Murdoch’s top priority. Adding Dow Jones to today’s approval of Fox’s purchase of the top photo site on the Web, Photobucket, will make next week a champagne type of week for a lot of corporate suits.