Media Moves

GE could enter bidding for Dow Jones

May 1, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Russ Britt, the Los Angeles bureau chief for Marketwatch, writes Tuesday that General Electric Co. might be forced to make an offer for Dow Jones & Co., to prevent rival News Corp. from buying the owner of The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch and Barron’s.

GE is the parent company of NBC and business news cable network CNBC, which has an agreement with the Journal to provide content.

Britt wrote, “General Electric, in particular, could face trouble if it doesn’t at least make a countermove as the deal gives News Corp. an instant source of content for its planned Fox business channel. GE owns the business-news cable channel CNBC.

“The price that News Corp. is offering, however, could deter most, if not all, potential suitors from making a play, said Benchmark’s Atorino. He said acquiring Dow Jones makes the most strategic sense for News Corp. and that a deal would create an awkward fit for other would-be bidders.”

Britt also wrote that if the Bancroft family, which controls more than 64 percent of the Dow Jones voting stock, turns down the offer, then they would likely face a lawsuit from other shareholders.

Read more here.

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