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Apr. 7, 2015, 7:18 PM
- A judge dismissed a lawsuit against News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) that said the company had to seek shareholder approval in extending a poison-pill provision.
- Miramar Police Officers' Retirement Plan filed suit last year, saying that News Corp. was bound to follow a 2006 settlement that said the company couldn't maintain a stockholder-rights plan for more than a year without seeking shareholders' OK.
- A Delaware judge ruled the spinoff of Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) meant that "new" News Corp. was a new company not bound by the 2006 agreement -- but that the Fox spinoff was.
Apr. 2, 2015, 5:57 PM
- Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) clashed with book publisher Hachette in a lengthy skirmish last year over e-book pricing, and now with its own contract lapsing, HarperCollins (NASDAQ:NWSA) seems ready to try wrestling with the retail giant.
- Amazon says it's offering HarperCollins the same deal that Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan recently agreed to. But HarperCollins has its own online sales operations, after a move last summer to sell most of its inventory on its site, as well as deals with Amazon e-publishing competitors.
- In the publishing clashes, Jeff Bezos has maintained e-books are too expensive; a way out in this negotiation (and considering Amazon's size, some kind of resolution seems likely) may come if Amazon agrees to loosen its tight grip on customer data.
Mar. 23, 2015, 9:39 AM
- After recently lowering its joint bid with Foxtel (NASDAQ:NWSA) in a months-long auction process for Australia's Ten Network, Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) is bailing out of the proceedings.
- The two companies had already dropped a push for full control of Ten after running into pushback from Bruce Gordon, the owner of regional broadcaster Win Corp. who's already at a legally mandated limit of 14.99% ownership of Ten.
- Discovery reportedly balked at Ten's suggestion that it take only a 14.99% stake itself, rather than a controlling share.
- Foxtel now must decide whether to pursue the minority stake on its own.
- Previously: Discovery gives back some gains on Fox merger denials (Feb. 23 2015)
- Previously: Discovery/Foxtel frontrunner in bid for Ten (Nov. 23 2014)
Mar. 19, 2015, 6:40 AM
Mar. 13, 2015, 6:16 PM
- Dutch startup Blendle has reached micropayment agreements with the New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT), The Wall Street Journal (NASDAQ:NWSA) and the Washington Post that will permit readers to buy articles one at a time with a single click, most likely for $0.20/piece.
- NYT is already an investor in Blendle, which would get a 30% cut with the rest going to publishers -- an Apple-app-like deal.
- The arrangement is yet another customer alternative to the papers' metered strategy of allowing some free articles before readers run into a subscription paywall.
- The service is only available in the Netherlands for now -- the company has more than 220,000 users -- but should come to the U.S. later this year as Blendle adds more publishers.
Mar. 2, 2015, 4:46 AM
- Nearly four years after Rebekah Brooks left News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWS) amid the phone-hacking scandal at the now-defunct U.K. tabloid the News of the World, the former executive is close to finalizing a deal to return to the company.
- The details of her exact role are still being discussed, but Brooks could end up in an executive position overseeing digital initiatives, WSJ reports.
- Brooks was acquitted last year on four charges related to illegal activity, including conspiracy to intercept voicemails and illegal payments to a public official.
Feb. 23, 2015, 12:33 PM
- Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) gives back much of its morning surge (shares were up 9%; now back to +5%) as the company joins FOX in denying a story (Fox says "categorically untrue") that the two companies talked merger.
- Maybe the rumor comes from a misunderstanding about a joint bid Discovery has put in with Foxtel (NASDAQ:NWSA) for Australia's Ten Network?
- Sanford's Todd Juenger says if the companies are telling the truth and they're not talking, then maybe they should be: "We believe a merger between Fox and Discovery would make strategic sense on a number of levels ... We still love the idea of Discovery as Fox’s next best alternative" to its failed tie-up with Time Warner.
Feb. 20, 2015, 9:37 PM
- Graham Holdings (NYSE:GHC) -- the former Washington Post Company -- was up 3.7% at the open and easily crested the $1,000/share mark again, following its Q4 earnings, before giving back all of the day's gains by midday.
- Education revenues from Kaplan operations ($551.4M, nearly flat) still made up the bulk of its $925.3M in revenues, but particularly strong were revenues in TV broadcasting, up 20% to $102.4M (aided by political ads in a midterm election year). Operating income in broadcast was up 24% to $54.4M.
- Revenue from "other businesses" (which includes digital-heavy publishing operations like Slate, Foreign Policy, The Root) more than doubled to $73.8M, from $30.7M.
- Seems like unloading The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos made the rest of the business great, Benjamin Freed says. He notes that now-GHC shares opened at $560.14 that summer 2013 day, headed to $584.97 that week and it's been a "robust trajectory" ever since. From the time of the sale, shares are up 83% vs. the S&P's +22%.
- Other companies are doing the same, he notes: See News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) splitting off Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA); Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) dropping publications into Tribune Publishing and thriving as a broadcast/real estate company; and Gannett (NYSE:GCI), which plans to spin off USA Today and its dailies.
Feb. 5, 2015, 5:07 PM
- News (NASDAQ:NWSA): FQ2 EPS of $0.26 beats by $0.02.
- Adjusted Revenue of $2.23B (flat Y/Y).
Feb. 4, 2015, 3:51 PM
- Kingdom Holding Co. -- the publicly listed investment vehicle of Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal -- is selling most of its 6.6% stake in B shares of News Corp. ((NWS -0.3%), (NWSA -0.4%)), leaving it with 1%, and generating about $188M.
- The company, however, is maintaining its 6.6% share of Twenty-First Century Fox ((FOX +0.2%), (FOXA)). It says the sale was part of a general portfolio review.
- Al-Waleed publicly supported Rupert Murdoch through the phone-hacking scandal and investigations and took pains to do so again: "We remain firm believers in NewsCorp’s competent management, led by CEO Robert Thomson, and are fully supportive of Rupert Murdoch and his family."
- The Murdoch companies report earnings over the next 24 hours.
Feb. 4, 2015, 5:35 AM
- Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding, owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has cut its stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), reducing its shareholding in Class B shares to 1% from 6.6%.
- The bourse statement announcing the news stated that the sale generated "705M riyals ($187.9M)", which will be used for other investments.
Feb. 2, 2015, 7:22 PM
- The Justice Dept. wraps a lengthy probe of News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) by deciding not to prosecute the companies in relation to the U.K. phone hacking/bribery scandals of 2011.
- The companies still face a number of probes as well as litigation in Great Britain.
- The U.S. case included looking into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Dec. 19, 2014, 4:55 PM
- News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) has bought BigDecisions.com, a site that "aims to help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data." Terms are undisclosed.
- With News Corp. stating BigDecisions.com has "helped some 40,000 users," the site appears to have a fairly small base as of now. Last month, News Corp. spent $30M to take a 25% stake in Indian real estate site PropTiger.com.
Dec. 15, 2014, 9:42 AM
Nov. 24, 2014, 6:55 PM
- News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) is spending $30M to buy a 25% stake in PropTiger.com, a leading Indian real estate site.
- The investment comes on the heels of News Corp.'s $950M purchase of Realtor.com owner Move. The company also had a 61.6% stake in REA Group, which owns leading Australian real estate site realestate.com.au.
Nov. 14, 2014, 8:40 AM
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