The merger of Fox Corporation and News Corporation, which would have brought his television and print publishing businesses back together under one roof, has been abandoned by Rupert Murdoch. The firms claimed to have received a letter from Murdoch in which he and his son Lachlan stated that, at this time, a merger of the two businesses was not “ideal” for shareholders. Uncertainty surrounds the causes of the abrupt deal termination.
It’s important to note that not everyone supported the proposed merger. Significant investor in Murdoch’s businesses, Independent Franchise Partners, had openly opposed the acquisition. After selling most of his Fox holdings to Disney in 2019, Murdoch proposed the merger over ten years after Fox Corporation and News Corporation parted away in 2013. The committees that were formed specifically to look into the potential merger have been disbanded, and the firms have praised them for their work on the issue. When asked if Murdoch had any comments on the choice, spokespeople for both firms were silent.
The assets of News Corporation, which include The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, HarperCollins, and other venerable print magazines, would have been amalgamated with those of Fox Corporation, which include the right-wing channel Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox TV Stations. Murdoch would have had more control over the flow of news and information since it would have gathered some of the most significant media outlets in the US under one roof. It would have, however, also had to deal with legal obstacles and possible antitrust issues.
Since the decision to reject the merger was unexpected and the reasons behind it are unknown, it is unclear if the merger would be proposed again in the future.
However, it appears that the decision was influenced by the state of the market, regulatory worries, and shareholder input. Due to possible antitrust issues, it is also likely that the proposed combination would have encountered strong legal opposition.
If the market and regulatory environment change, Murdoch might decide to revisit the merger proposal in the future. It appears that Fox Corporation and News Corporation will continue to exist as separate legal corporations for the time being.