Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch has reached an agreement to purchase Dow Jones and Company, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion.

The deal was announced earlier Wednesday in a joint statement issued by Murdoch's News Corporation and Dow Jones. The two sides signed the agreement Tuesday, ending three months of negotiations and tense debates among members of the Bancroft family, which owns Dow Jones.

The statement says Bancroft family members holding 37 percent of the shareholder votes have agreed to support the deal.

Murdoch offered to buy Dow Jones in May for $5 billion, or $60 a share - far above market value. But the deal alarmed some family members, as well as Dow Jones journalists and executives, who feared Murdoch would wreck the newspaper's journalistic integrity.

The statement says a five-member committee will be created to oversee the editorial independence of the Journal and Dow Jones's other news services.

Sources on Tuesday say the family approved the deal after News Corporation agreed to pay $40 million to the family's legal and financial advisors.

News Corporation owns more than 100 papers in Australia, Britain, the United States, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. It also owns U.S.-based Fox News Channel, 20th Century Fox movie production house, and the online social networking site MySpace.

Observers believe Murdoch will use the Wall Street Journal's financial news operation to bolster his new Fox Business News Channel, which will debut in October.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.