Rupert Murdoch abandons BSkyB takeover bid

Even the partial ownership that he controls today may be in question. What a rapid fall.

After 10 days of sustained public outcry over phone hacking, and facing the prospect of a unanimous call by MPs to withdraw his bid for total ownership of the broadcaster, Murdoch succumbed at a morning board meeting in Wapping.

Company insiders indicated Murdoch was not making a tactical retreat and that a future bid for total control of BSkyB was now unlikely. The media giant said it was likely to “deploy our capital elsewhere” to avoid any more damaging battles in the UK. The News Corp deputy chairman, Chase Carey, said the bid had become “too difficult to progress in this climate”.

The withdrawal represents the biggest single reverse of Murdoch’s mercurial career, but may presage even further commercial damage not just in the UK, but worldwide. News Corp’s current 39% stake in BSkyB could also still be at risk from the “fit and proper” test for ownership being conducted by regulator Ofcom.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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