Behind the bid for Sky is a less powerful Murdoch empire

IT WOULD seem to be a stunning comeback for Rupert Murdoch and his clan. Five years ago News Corporation was engulfed by scandal. One of its British papers, the News of the World, had routinely hacked private phones. In the aftermath the company gave up a bid it had made for BSkyB (now simply called Sky), a satellite broadcaster in which it had a stake. A parliamentary report declared Mr Murdoch unfit to lead a large company. James Murdoch, his son, resigned as chair of BSkyB and chief of the newspaper division. Ofcom, Britain’s media regulator, eviscerated his leadership as “difficult to comprehend and ill-judged”.

Now the Murdoch empire appears to be striking back. On December 9th, 21st Century Fox, the Murdochs’ entertainment business, said it had reached a preliminary deal to pay £11.2bn ($14.1bn) for the 61% of Sky it does not already own. James Murdoch is ascending once more: indeed, this deal is chiefly his doing. Last year he succeeded his father as boss of 21st Century Fox, and in January he reclaimed his Sky chairmanship. But the show of strength comes with new weaknesses.

Much has…Continue reading

from Business and finance


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