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Bancroft family says it will consider a Dow Jones sale

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New York—In a reversal of previous statements, the family that owns a controlling interest in Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, issued a statement late Thursday saying that it will consider selling the company. The announcement came just weeks after the family rejected an offer from News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch to buy Dow Jones for $5 billion.

“After a detailed review of the business of Dow Jones and the evolving competitive environment in which it operates, the family has reached consensus that the mission of Dow Jones may be better accomplished in combination or collaboration with another organization, which may include News Corp.,” a statement from the family said.

The statement added that the family will meet with Murdoch to consider his proposal and that a representative of Dow Jones’ board would attend the meeting. The family also indicated that it would consider other bids.

In addition to the flagship Journal, the second-largest newspaper in the U.S. (1.9 million circ.), Dow Jones owns Barron’s, Dow Jones Newswires, Factiva, MarketWatch.com and WSJ.com.

—Matthew Schwartz

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