Over the years, Michael Bloomberg has stated his desire to own a well-known newspaper, but according to sources, he has not contacted Rupert Murdoch to inquire about perhaps buying Dow Jones and its cornerstone publication, the Wall Street Journal.
According to a source close to Bloomberg’s thinking, the billionaire operator of Bloomberg L.P. is interested in buying either the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O) or perhaps more recognizably, the Washington Post from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com (AMZN.O).
No approach has been made by Bloomberg’s side to Murdoch, according to two persons with knowledge of the situation. The Washington Post, which Bezos acquired in 2013 for $250 million, is not up for sale, or so is told by a spokeswoman.
Bloomberg has previously expressed interest in purchasing a significant newspaper, such as the New York Times or Financial Times.
Reports revealed any purchase would offer the 80-year-old billionaire a prize media asset to promote his political goals, such as combating climate change or advocating for stricter gun regulations.
Bloomberg, a previous three-times-voted mayor of New York City, also made an unsuccessful attempt for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020.
A Bloomberg takeover of the post is not always purely commercial. Eli Noam, a professor emeritus at the University of Colombia’s business school, noted that Mike B is a policy and political figure—mayor, presidential candidate—and that such an arrangement would provide him with a vehicle to influence Washington public policies.
Bloomberg’s hold on the market would be strengthened through a merging with The Journal or Dow Jones, but antitrust regulators would be watching closely. Bloomberg has a calculated net worth of $76.8 billion, making him the 12th richest person in the world.
Bloomberg, which publishes Barron’s and MarketWatch, sees Dow Jones as the ideal fit, however, it would purchase the Post if Jeff Bezos decided to sell, based on material by Axios.
A Bloomberg L.P. spokeswoman claimed the report is mere conjecture, and there is nothing to remark on. Requests for comment from Dow Jones have yet to receive a reply, similar to how Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Bezos were quiet too, while a representative for Rupert Murdoch refused to reply.
One person said it’s uncertain whether Murdoch, who is attempting to merge his News Corp and Fox Corp (FOXA.O) properties, would be willing to consider an offer from Bloomberg.
Antitrust experts concurred that since the Biden administration has adopted a more aggressive stance to enforce antitrust rules, the amalgamation of Bloomberg and Dow Jones’ financial news sections would be subject to intense examination from American regulators.
Some analysts believed the corporations might be required to sell off their business interests to assuage government officials worried about maintaining competition in the market for business news.
Antitrust attorney Jonathan Rubin trusted they will be concerned with the alternative options accessible to consumers of the company’s financial services and business reporting, as well as the impact, if any, on the job market for finance journalists.
The Department of Justice, Federal Communications Commission, and Federal Trade Commission all politely refused to reply.
Friday’s closing price increase for News Corp shares was 2.8%, beating the market’s more moderate increases.
Several shareholders have voiced vehement resistance to Murdoch’s attempts to merge his media dominant position nearly ten years after the businesses split, claiming that doing so would not maximise the value of News Corp.
In a letter to Murdoch and the News Corp board in November, activist investor and expert Irenic Capital Management, which owns about 2% of News Corp’s Class B voting shares, argued that Dow Jones would be very valuable as a separately traded business.
According to Huber Research Partners media expert Craig Huber, The WSJ is a prized possession for the Murdoch family.
Claire Enders of renowned Britain’s Enders Analysis believed the Axios article is most likely going to have no impact. That is not taking place.
The WSJ is News Corp’s main asset, she claimed.