News Corp secures WSJ

14-12-2007

News Corp secures WSJ
Rupert Murdoch's media empire has expanded after shareholders of business news provider Dow Jones voted to approve a takeover by his News Corporation.

The ratification of the deal by Dow Jones investors gives News Corp control of the Wall Street Journal, one of the world's most influential newspapers.

Shareholders representing 60.3 per cent of Dow Jones' voting power opted to approve the $60 (£29) per share takeover.

The acceptance of the deal came after Mr Murdoch was able to successfully woo certain members of the Bancroft family – Dow Jones' controlling shareholders who initially opposed News Corp's offer.

Some critics of the takeover were swayed by pledges the Wall Street Journal would retain its editorial independence under News Corp's control.

Speaking to Fox News – another part of the News Corp family of businesses - after the deal was approved, Mr Murdoch said his plans to provide content on the Journal's website for free could boost the number of people viewing the site from one million to 20 million.

He also claimed additional revenue from advertising would be enough to compensate for the loss of subscription fees.

Commenting on the takeover in August, after revealing he had secured backing from some members of the Bancroft family, Mr Murdoch said: "Dow Jones is a vibrant company and one of the world's greatest media franchises, with a portfolio of brands that has no equal in financial information and business journalism."

The completion of News Corp's acquisition of Dow Jones follows a key shake-up at the media company last week.

News Corp confirmed Mr Murdoch's son James would assume control of its operations in the UK, Europe and Asia – in a move which appears to have made him heir apparent to his father's global business empire.

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