News Corp. May Increase BSkyB Bid

By Ed Silverstein February 03, 2011

News Corp., may increase its bid for BSkyB by 20 percent because its prior offer for the British satellite TV company has gotten weighed down in a phone hacking controversy, Reuters reported.

The bid may get more attention than News Corp.’s quarterly earnings, which were to be announced on Wednesday in New York.

The controversy relates to journalists at News of the World allegedly hacking into voicemails belonging to celebrities and politicians. A key aide to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned because of the controversy.

Investors say the scandal impacts the bid for BSkyB. The bid is under review by the British government.

Last June, News Corp., bid 7.8 billion pounds (U.S. $11.6 billion) for the 61 percent of BSkyB that News Corp., doesn't own. Adjusted for current rates, the bid comes in at about $12.5 billion, Reuters said.

The board of BSkyB rejected News Corp's bid.

Many analysts say News Corp. may end up paying nearly $2 billion higher than the bid offered in June, adjusted for current exchange rates, according to Reuters.

There is U.K. opposition to News Corp. getting the ownership of BSkyB, but many observers say that News Corp. will eventually be the approved bidder.

In other News Corp., news, TechZone360 reported that the company launched "The Daily, which has been described as a “digital newspaper for the iPad.”

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch predicts it may be the “savior” of the once thriving newspaper business, according to a report from the AFP news agency.

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp., said it will cost 99 cents a week for The Daily. It is available only through Apple's online iTunes store.

Issues will be electronically delivered to a user’s iPad each morning.

The paid subscription model for The Daily is part of News Corp.’s strategy to get users to pay for online content. The Wall Street Journal, the Times and the Sunday Times (of London), each News Corp. properties, charge for most online access, according to TechZone360.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications & technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2011, taking place Feb 2-4, 2011, in Miami. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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