Dow Jones Denies Report of a Murdoch Deal

Says Report Is Not True and That Negotiations Continue

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NEW YORK ( -- Dow Jones has denied a report in the British press today that its board had reached agreement with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. on terms of a Dow Jones sale.
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch Credit: Nancy Kaszerman

The report, published by London's The Business magazine, asserts that Mr. Murdoch has "succeeded with his $5 billion bid for Dow Jones" by completing negotiations with the Dow Jones board on terms that the board is confident will be accepted by the controlling Bancroft family. The information is attributed to "sources acting for the Dow Jones board."

But a spokeswoman for Dow Jones, owner of The Wall Street Journal, said the report is not true. Negotiations continue and nothing has changed, she said.

One of the report's authors, Andrew Neil, is a former editor of The Times of London, which belongs to News Corp.

The plausibility of the British report shows how far Mr. Murdoch's attempt to buy Dow Jones has come from its original long-shot status. The board and News Corp. have in fact agreed on a proposal intended to protect The Journal from meddling by Mr. Murdoch.

Although the Bancrofts, who have the final say, haven't signed off yet, outside observers believe it would be difficult for the family to walk away from a sale at this point.

Mr. Murdoch told Reuters on June 27 that he expected the Bancrofts to agree within two to three weeks "if at all."
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