With the Bancroft family ready to throw in the towel, Rupert Murdoch looks set to gain control of the Dow media empire. At a family retreat Sunday, the Bancrofts employed a variety of decision making techniques including valuation analysis, games of chance and arm wrestling. "We put up a good fight" stated one family member under condition of anonymity, "But in the end $5B carries some weight".
Critically, the purchase will give Murdoch control not only of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires but also the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Murdoch assured investors that he will not interfere with the independence of the DJIA, but his detractors are not so sure. "The Dow just reached 14,000 – and that was a great news story" stated a Bancroft family member, under condition of anonymity, "Who knows what will happen once Murdoch gets his fingers on it".
"This may just be the first part of his endgame" suggested Jennifer Peterson of Leeward Stochs, an investment bank, "The S&P 500 is the obvious next move". Indeed many in the industry worry that such a move would give Murdoch unprecedented abilities to shape and report business news. "He would literally have the capability to move markets" continued Peterson, "Just imagine the headlines".
Murdoch, currently on retreat somewhere in the South Pacific, was said to be pleased with the outcome but denied any interest in the S&P assets. However, he did agree that it was a good story.