NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

News Corporation drops bid for BSkyB, citing overwhelming public opposition

Vic­to­ry!

Rupert Mur­doch’s media group News Cor­po­ra­tion bowed to pres­sure from the pub­lic and par­lia­ment on Wednes­day and with­drew its bid to take full con­trol of pay-TV com­pa­ny BSkyB.

All three main polit­i­cal par­ties were poised to call on News Corp to aban­don its offer in a vote in the House of Com­mons lat­er on Wednes­day.

The move leaves News Cor­p’s key strat­e­gy for UK cor­po­rate growth in tat­ters. The pro­posed £8bn deal has been in train for more than a year, with the first offer tabled in June 2010.

News Cor­po­ra­tion does still own near­ly forty per­cent of British Sky Broad­cast­ing, how­ev­er. The con­glom­er­ate should now be required to sell its remain­ing stake (which the Mur­dochs don’t want to do) so that BSkyB can be ful­ly inde­pen­dent.

Odd­ly enough, shares of both News Cor­po­ra­tion and BSkyB are up this morn­ing fol­low­ing the behe­moth­’s announce­ment that the deal was off.  It just goes to show how much the human mind fears uncer­tain­ty more than any­thing else.

Mean­while, the chief coun­sel for News Inter­na­tion­al (News Cor­po­ra­tion’s British sub­sidiary) announced that he is resign­ing from his post after twen­ty-six years:

Offi­cials at the com­pa­ny said that the lawyer, Tom Crone, had been the lawyer chiefly respon­si­ble for clear­ing con­tro­ver­sial sto­ries pub­lished in The News of the World and anoth­er paper in the Mur­doch sta­ble, The Sun. His res­ig­na­tion made him the first senior exec­u­tive of News Inter­na­tion­al to quit in the scan­dal.

News Inter­na­tion­al increas­ing­ly looks like a sink­ing ship. Will News Cor­po­ra­tion sell it, or spin it off, as many investors are sug­gest­ing? Or will Rupert Mur­doch hold on to his British papers, even if they’re threat­en­ing to drag down his entire con­glom­er­ate?

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