Murdoch scraps proposal to reunite Fox and News Corp.
Rupert Murdoch’s proposal to combine Fox Corp and News Corp has been scrapped. In a letter to both companies, Murdoch stated that he and his son, Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch, had determined that the combination was “not optimal” for shareholders. The special committees of the Fox and News Corp boards that were reviewing the proposed merger have now been dissolved.
The planned merger would have reunited Murdoch’s media empire, which was split in 2013, placing the print business in a new public entity, News Corp, and the TV and entertainment under 21st Century Fox. The merger would have combined Fox News, TMZ, and other assets with News Corp’s news operations, including the Times and Sun newspapers and websites in the UK, the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the US, and the Australian.
Several News Corp investors had expressed opposition to the proposed merger. The decision to withdraw the proposal follows a period of intense scrutiny of the potential deal. Murdoch’s letter indicated that the decision was based on what was best for shareholders, rather than any external pressures.
The dissolution of the merger committees marks the end of a potential reunion of Murdoch’s media empire. The decision to scrap the proposal reflects the current business environment, in which companies are increasingly focused on delivering value to shareholders. The potential merger had also attracted criticism from some quarters due to the potential concentration of media power.