News / Economy

Media Magnate Murdoch Looking to Build His Empire

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corporation, speaks during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney, Australia, July 17, 2014.
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corporation, speaks during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney, Australia, July 17, 2014.
Ken Bredemeier

Worldwide media magnate Rupert Murdoch is on the hunt to add to his corporate empire in the United States, as American media companies seek assets to gain an advantage over competitors.

Murdoch already controls movie studio 21st Century Fox, the widely watched Fox television channels and a prominent business newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. But media rival, Time Warner, balked this week at Murdoch's $80 billion offer to take over its movie studio, the popular HBO and Turner cable entertainment ventures and CNN, a worldwide news channel.

Time Warner said it "was not in the best interests" of the company to accept the deal or talk about it further with Murdoch.

But business and legal analyst Erik Gordon at the University of Michigan told VOA that Murdoch was facing a rapidly changing media landscape that could push him to increase his offer in hopes Time Warner might change its mind.

He said the planned mergers of cable distributors -- Comcast with Time Warner Cable and AT&T with the DirecTV satellite company -- would give them an advantage in multi-billion-dollar negotiations with media content producers like Murdoch and Time Warner.

With that in mind, Gordon said Murdoch was forced to become bigger if he wanted more clout.

"So you get into one of these sort of arms races, where one side gets more power, and then the other side has to consolidate to rebalance that power.... He wants to be able to go to the negotiating table against the distributors and say, well, look, if you don't deal with me on terms that are acceptable to me, not only do you lose my present properties like Fox, but you also lose HBO and Cartoon Network and everything else I get by taking over Time Warner," he said.

The dean of the business school at Hofstra University in New York, Patrick Socci, told VOA that for Murdoch, the acquisition of Time Warner's movie production division, along with HBO and its widely watched television dramas, could be reason enough to increase his bid beyond the $85 a share of stock he offered.

"I think right now at $85, Murdoch will be able to swing the deal and he's scaring everybody away by saying he may even go higher if Time Warner will open its books. And I could see that investors would probably push to make that happen, just to see how much more they could get," said Socci.

Murdoch, who generally supports conservative political causes in the U.S., said he would sell CNN if he acquired Time Warner, to avoid a conflict with his Fox News channel, where conservative commentators pointedly voice their opposition to U.S. President Barack Obama and his policies.

Gordon said that beyond the fight between corporate titans like Murdoch and Time Warner, there were other major U.S. companies seeking to win over more customers for the media content they were producing.

"You have a lot of the newer, more start-up channels -- Netflix, Amazon, Google -- getting into the business. So you sort of have two tiers. You have the huge elephants fighting each other in one room, and then you have the littler, newer guys outside the room who'll probably be their competition in coming years," he said.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7718
JPY
USD
107.32
GBP
USD
0.6125
CAD
USD
1.0974
INR
USD
60.919

Rates may not be current.