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Time Warner Turns Down Takeover Bid From Rupert Murdoch

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the even-worse-than-comcast dept.

Businesses 70

Dave Knott (2917251) writes The media giant 21st Century Fox, the empire run by Rupert Murdoch, made an $80 billion takeover bid in recent weeks for Time Warner Inc. but was rebuffed. Time Warner on Wednesday confirmed that it had rejected a cash and stock offer from 21st Century Fox, saying that it was not in the company's best interests. Time Warner's board discussed the proposal at length and early this month it sent a terse letter rejecting the offer, saying the company was better off remaining independent. A Time Warner statement pointed to its own strategic plan, what it said was "uncertainty" over the value of 21st Century Fox stock and regulatory risks as among the reasons for its rebuff. The company said that 21st Century Fox had offered a premium of roughly 22 percent to Time Warner's closing price on Tuesday. Shares of Time Warner were up about 20 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday morning. The combined company would have total revenue of $65 billion.

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Good (3)

mrspoonsi (2955715) | about 2 months ago | (#47467045)

The more these big media / film studios merge, the less choice there will be.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467681)

The more these big media / film studios merge, the less choice there will be.

Too late.

Re:Good (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47467959)

But WTF?

TWC cites "regulatory risk" over a Murdoch acquisition, but didn't over Comcast?

This raises the possibility that they weren't being completely honest. (Duh.)

Re:Good (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47468037)

Never mind. I didn't realize TWC was actually a different company now.

Comcast first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467063)

Murdock should buy comcast first, then twc. What will they have to say then?
They will still have a monopoly in my area regardless of who owns what.

Re:Comcast first (1)

Grow Old Timber (1071718) | about 2 months ago | (#47467339)

If you studied the matter you would find there are other reasons you should not want these mergers other than 'it won't affect me' Wouldn't it be great if there was a choice of cable/content providers? Look around there is, and it would help to keep switching back to satellite once in a while.

Satellite's low caps aren't for everyone (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47469579)

it would help to keep switching back to satellite once in a while.

For what? A 10 GB per month data cap? (source: exede.com)

Re:Comcast first (4, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | about 2 months ago | (#47468169)

They will still have a monopoly in my area regardless of who owns what.

This is off topic, since TWC isn't the same company as TWI, but...

They keep talking about the "lack of overlap" in their markets, but that's bogus. Comcast and TWC overlap in the "negotiating with content providers" market. The larger the company, the harder they can negotiate against the cable channel providers not already owned by one of them. They might say this will yield lower prices for consumers, but you and I know that's total bullshit.

What it actually means is that they'll either drop channels that won't negotiate, and focus more on providing only channels they create, or the third-party channels they keep will need more ads - more in-show ads - and cheaper shows (reality TV) to make up the difference in revenue they lost.

I don't like the content providers either (give me a la carte or give me death!) but TWC and Comcast at two separate negotiating tables is much better for consumers than a merged monolith at one table.

Re:Comcast first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47479579)

They will still have a monopoly in my area regardless of who owns what.

This is off topic, since TWC isn't the same company as TWI, but...

They keep talking about the "lack of overlap" in their markets, but that's bogus. Comcast and TWC overlap in the "negotiating with content providers" market. The larger the company, the harder they can negotiate against the cable channel providers not already owned by one of them. They might say this will yield lower prices for consumers, but you and I know that's total bullshit.

What it actually means is that they'll either drop channels that won't negotiate, and focus more on providing only channels they create, or the third-party channels they keep will need more ads - more in-show ads - and cheaper shows (reality TV) to make up the difference in revenue they lost.

I don't like the content providers either (give me a la carte or give me death!) but TWC and Comcast at two separate negotiating tables is much better for consumers than a merged monolith at one table.

They will still have a monopoly in my area regardless of who owns what.

This is off topic, since TWC isn't the same company as TWI, but...

They keep talking about the "lack of overlap" in their markets, but that's bogus. Comcast and TWC overlap in the "negotiating with content providers" market. The larger the company, the harder they can negotiate against the cable channel providers not already owned by one of them. They might say this will yield lower prices for consumers, but you and I know that's total bullshit.

What it actually means is that they'll either drop channels that won't negotiate, and focus more on providing only channels they create, or the third-party channels they keep will need more ads - more in-show ads - and cheaper shows (reality TV) to make up the difference in revenue they lost.

I don't like the content providers either (give me a la carte or give me death!) but TWC and Comcast at two separate negotiating tables is much better for consumers than a merged

monolith at one table.

They will still have a monopoly in my area regardless of who owns what.

This is off topic, since TWC isn't the same company as TWI, but...

They keep talking about the "lack of overlap" in their markets, but that's bogus. Comcast and TWC overlap in the "negotiating with content providers" market. The larger the company, the harder they can negotiate against the cable channel providers not already owned by one of them. They might say this will yield lower prices for consumers, but you and I know that's total bullshit.

What it actually means is that they'll either drop channels that won't negotiate, and focus more on providing only channels they create, or the third-party channels they keep will need more ads - more in-show ads - and cheaper shows (reality TV) to make up the difference in revenue they lost.

I don't like the content providers either (give me a la carte or give me death!) but TWC and Comcast at two separate negotiating tables is much better for consumers than a merged monolith at one table.

I have had Time Warner for a long time. However, we have temporarily moved to another state and had to get Comcast. They are the only company in the game around here and I don't particularly like them since a few years ago , they muscled Time Warner out of Houston to become the only sknin the game there too. My home is three hours frm there where I will be returning and I hope Comcast and Time Warner do not merge. What happened to the Anti Trust Laws? Whya re these huge companies being allowed to be absorbed int even larged companies.?

Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47467073)

I thought the idea was that Comcast was merging with Time Warner in order to strengthen their cable monopoly. Is Time Warner's ISP a different business than Time Warner's content company or something?

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47467147)

Is Time Warner's ISP a different business than Time Warner's content company or something?

Yeah, Time Warner spun off Time Warner Cable in 2009 as a separate company.

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (4, Funny)

DarkFencer (260473) | about 2 months ago | (#47467157)

Yes, Time Warner, Inc (what this story is referring to) is a different company from Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is looking to acquire).

Its also different from TW Telecom (formerly Time Warner Telecom, which is being acquired by Level 3.

Its a complicated mess of mergers and spinoffs...

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

Stephenmg (265369) | about 2 months ago | (#47467377)

They really should have gotten a little bit more creative when naming the new companies.

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (2)

aitikin (909209) | about 2 months ago | (#47467581)

You mean like Bell South and Southwest Bell and Bell Atlantic, etc?

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (4, Funny)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 2 months ago | (#47468299)

That case was solved by sorting them into either "Verizon" or "AT&T".

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

aitikin (909209) | about 2 months ago | (#47472201)

Or renaming themselves into AT&T...

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47467827)

There's a whole slew of ex-TW companies that kept various parts of the name. It's kind of a mess, possibly deliberately.

As another example: the entertainment production company, Warner Bros., which produced both films and music, was acquired by Time Warner. Fast-forward some decades, and there are now two companies named Warner, one of which is part of TW and one of which isn't. The film part is still known as Warner Bros and is still owned by Time Warner. The music part, formerly known as Warner Bros Music, was renamed to Warner Music, and then recently (2011) sold off to some holding company [accessindustries.com] , so despite still being branded as the Warner music arm, it's no longer owned by Time Warner, or related to the film part of Warner.

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 months ago | (#47468579)

You're mostly right, except that Warner Communications which owned both Warner Bros. Studio and Warner Music (Warner Bros. Records at the time) merged with Time Inc. to form Time Warner. They weren't bought; they're the "Warner" half of Time Warner, with Time Inc. being the other half.

But yeah, there were a ton of spin-offs and sales all through the 90's and 2000's.

There is no Time for Time Warner (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47469613)

Time Warner spun off Time Inc. last month. So why isn't it back to Warner Communications now?

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

baegucb (18706) | about 2 months ago | (#47470573)

Back in the mid-80s, Fox bought a software system from Warner Brothers. (I was there at the time at Fox, and there was an intern from a Warner exec who was a pain...liked tagging stuff) Murdoch was considered an idiot by Fox employees. He ran out of gas on a holiday in LA, called up the studio, and had the only security guard on duty come out to help out. Oh yeah, there was a Die Hard movie filmed at a skyscraper in Century City owned by Fox. They didn't want to add enough any inches for a raised floor computer room, so they left it where it was.

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467171)

I thought the idea was that Comcast was merging with Time Warner in order to strengthen their cable monopoly. Is Time Warner's ISP a different business than Time Warner's content company or something?

Yes two separate companies today. The cable company was spun off in March 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Warner_Cable

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467297)

And isn't it curious that a former CEO of Time Warner is on the board of directors at Comcast.

http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/leadership-overview/joseph-j-collins

Re:Weren't they trying to merge with Comcast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467319)

Yeah it's a little hard to keep up with now but since i bought stock before all this madness I'm way to aware!

TW split into TWC TWX and AOL, then recently they've split of TIME the magazine portion.

I bet the conversation went like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467105)

"Remember that time we let AOL merge with us?"

Seriously though, letting the guy who owns Fox News buy CNN would have been a big deal even for the proles.

Re:I bet the conversation went like this (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47469657)

Reportedly the plan was to let National Amusements (parent of Viacom and CBS) and Disney (parent of ESPN and ABC) bid on CNN.

Strong Belief in your business (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about 2 months ago | (#47467161)

To turn down a $80 billion dollar deal...that's the price Time Warner is willing to pay to keep their successful business successful. South Park sold out to Hulu for only a fraction of the price, $80 million! $80 billion, nah, we're better off independent.

Re:Strong Belief in your business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47469019)

Not so much. If somebody at work this morning offers you the blue book value of your car, would you sell it? I'm not sure if this is a useful analogy, but it is a car analogy which I assumed is a better than arguing over P/E ratios and doing FV calculations.
Although, we will exclude GM and Tesla because they usually get their own stories here.

Thank God (0)

mbone (558574) | about 2 months ago | (#47467169)

All I can say is that if we actually had decent anti-trust enforcement (YAGTDRR - Yet Another Good Thing Destroyed by Ronald Reagan), these mergers wouldn't even be an issue to begin with. Since they are, thank God this one seems not be going forward.

Re:Thank God (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47467227)

What about the opposite idea? If your company has over 70% monopoly in a specific sector for over five years, it has to be split into two new companies and must compete with each other.

Define sector (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47469749)

You propose to trigger a breakup once a firm maintains a supermajority market share in a sector. Now define a "sector". Would you, say, break up Tesla for making 70% of desirable 4-wheel electric passenger vehicles when nobody else is attempting to sell anything but purposely bad compliance cars [slashdot.org] ? (In fact, after seeing other automakers' failure to deliver a solid EV, Tesla decided it doesn't even want a monopoly and announced availability of its patents for licensing [slashdot.org] .) Would you break up the NFL for having the lion's share of professional football revenue?

Re:Define sector (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47469803)

I was merely saying that the issue is extremely complex on each extreme ends of the problem.

I guess we could add "but only if competition exists" but then we'd have to define competition. Just trying to define a law can be an endless process because you need to try and catch all possibilities and define everything in details.

Re:Define sector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47474711)

Sectors are defined by a market and the fact that there are consumers who demand a product.

Tesla competes against Ford, Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, BMW, et cetera.

It's just not intellectually honest to pretend that it's that difficult to define what is a market.

Do cars compete with bicycles? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47475005)

Sectors are defined by a market

Lawyers spend a lot of time trying to convince judges to adopt a definition of relevant product market [wikipedia.org] that gives their respective clients an advantage in competition court. Here's another example: Does GM compete against, say, Trek [wikipedia.org] and Specialized [wikipedia.org] in the personal transportation sector?

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467229)

Yeah Reagen did it.. You sound about as intelligent as the Obamatron's and their 'Bush did it' mantra..

Yep - congressional legislation (or law) would have stopped all this dead in it's tracks.. Said no intelligent being ever.

Re:Thank God (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467373)

If you're trying to sound more intelligent than OP, here's some advice:

1. Spell "Reagan" correctly.
2. Use single periods to end sentences, not double periods.
3. "Obamatrons" - a plural - does not use an apostrophe.
4. Learn about, and use, commas.
5. Pro-tip: If you want to squeeze an Appeal to Authority past people in an argument, don't use yourself as the authority.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467597)

Don't forget" it's" and "its" having completely different meanings.

Re:Thank God (2)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | about 2 months ago | (#47469963)

This is really a mater of modern convention. Webster's has a good ask the editor video entry on the history of the two forms and how often they changed. Your likely right that most people are ignorantly using the wrong form, but like many things in our language its silly to get upset about it with out some sense of etymology.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467447)

And the Republicans will blame Obama for everything
And the Democrats will blame G.W. Bush for everything
And the Republicans will blame Clinton for everything
And the Democrats will blame G.H.W. Bush for everything
And the Democrats will blame Reagan for everything
And the Republicans will blame Carter for everything
And the Democrats will blame Ford for everything
And the Democrats will blame Nixon for everything
And the Republicans will blame Johnson for everything
And the Republicans will blame Kennedy for everything
And the Democrats will blame Eisenhower for everything
And the Republicans will blame Truman for everything
And the Republicans will blame F.D. Roosevelt for everything
And the Democrats will blame Hoover for everything
And the Democrats will blame Coolidge for everything
And the Democrats will blame Harding for everything
And the Republicans will blame Wilson for everything
And the Democrats will blame Taft for everything
And the Democrats will blame T. Roosevelt for everything
And the Democrats will blame Mc.Kinley for everything
And the Republicans will blame Cleveland for everything
And the Democrats will blame Harrison for everything
And the Republicans will blame Cleveland for everything
And the Democrats will blame Arthur for everything
And the Democrats will blame Garfield for everything
And the Democrats will blame Hayes for everything
And the Democrats will blame Grant for everything
And the Republicans will blame Johnson for everything
And the Democrats will blame Lincon for everything
And the Whigs will blame Buchanan for everything
And the Whigs will blame Pierce for everything
And the Democrats will blame Fillmore for everything
And the Democrats will blame Taylor for everything
And the Whigs will blame Polk for everything
And the Democrats will blame Tyler for everything
And the Democrats will blame Harrison for everything
And the Whigs will blame Buren for everything
And the Whigs will blame Jackson for everything
And the Democrats will blame Adams for everything
And the Democrats will blame Monroe for everything
And the Federalists will blame Madison for everything
And the Federalists will blame Jefferson for everything
And the Democratic-Republicans will blame Adams for everything
And the Federalists will blame Washington for everything

Re:Thank God (1)

flynnieous (1542191) | about 2 months ago | (#47469471)

Actually, the Federalists and Washington got along quite well. Everything up to that, I'll agree with.

Re:Thank God (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47469779)

And the Republicans will blame Clinton for everything

I don't see how, given how much more the Gingrich House got done than the Boehner House has.

Re:Thank God (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 months ago | (#47470579)

And the Republicans will blame Clinton for everything

I don't see how, given how much more the Gingrich House got done than the Boehner House has.

Because blowjobs!

Of course it isn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467209)

$80 Billion? Who is he kidding, with how much they overcharge customer for rudimentary service that cost less than 1/4 in any other country, they can make that profit right back in in less than a year.

Queue all the TWX/TWC/TWTC confusion in (4, Insightful)

Mycroft-X (11435) | about 2 months ago | (#47467323)

3...2...1....

Re:Queue all the TWX/TWC/TWTC confusion in (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47467423)

too late.

So... (1, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 2 months ago | (#47467367)

...looks like the free market worked this time?

Offer made without government interference...offer rejected without government interference...

Or does someone think that Rupert Murdoch can just force Time Warner to take the deal?

Re:So... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47470083)

It depends on how badly he wants it.

He can do a hostile take over which basically means he or his company ends up cpntrolling 51 percent of the voting stock and puts his own management team in charge and forces a merger.

He doesn't have to own 51% of the stock, just enough to be able to vote and somehow manage to get enough other stock holders to side with him ( and yes, paying them is a valid tactic).

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47473223)

Paying them is probably not a valid/legal tactic. Most jurisdictions make it illegal to pay people different amounts in a takeover. You pay everyone the same or don't take over the company.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47470165)

The threat of regulatory issues was cited as one of the reasons they rejected the offer, and in this case I'd say it would be a very good thing for the government to reject this. We don't need fewer but even more gigantic media companies.

Whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467539)

They are not concerned at all about "best interests." They want more money and a big sweetener for current management and board members.

ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47467747)

This is great message (0)

ogrod1 (3750439) | about 2 months ago | (#47467759)

Super

DC in the hands of Fox (1, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 2 months ago | (#47468017)

....shudder....

.

Doom Patrol instead of X-Men (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47469825)

If Fox were to get DC, does that mean the X-Men would finally get to cross over with the rest of Marvel once Fox rewrites the next X-Men film script for DC's Doom Patrol?

Re:Doom Patrol instead of X-Men (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 2 months ago | (#47469929)

Nay-nay! Marvel is owned by Disney. Keep your megacorps straight, dammit!

.

Re:Doom Patrol instead of X-Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47470185)

Yes, but Fox still owns the X-Men film rights and is holding onto them for dear life.

Re:Doom Patrol instead of X-Men (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47470897)

But if Fox bought the rights to the Doom Patrol, it wouldn't have to pay continuing royalties to Marvel to keep the X-Men film rights. Instead, it could let the rights revert to Marvel and just make Doom Patrol movies.* And if Marvel got the X-Men rights back, the Avengers would then be free to cross over with everything but Peter "Irving Spiderman" Parker, whose film rights Sony owns.

* Notwithstanding nuisance trademark lawsuits from Zenimax, which owns Doom and Id Software's catalog. If it has shown itself willing to sue Mojang over the word "Scrolls", it might sue DC over "Doom".

Re:DC in the hands of Fox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47470439)

Yeah, 'cause Family Guy, Futurama, King of the Hill and The Simpsons have turned out to be such disasters.

Ignorant dolt.

Look we may be an evil, soulless, corporation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47468053)

But even we have standards.

Remember AOLTimeWarner? (1)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | about 2 months ago | (#47468677)

Remember when America Online bought TimeWarner? That actually happened. Almost as crazy as being bought by the parent company of DC Comics.

Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47469695)

So Rupert Murdoch wants to pay $80 billion to merge another company with his company, after which the combined value of both will be $65 billion? That doesn't add up for me... Can someone explain this in simple human terms?

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47474747)

Yearly revenue would be 65 billion.

The company would be considered to have a monetary value much higher than that.

Its Public Relations Spin... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 2 months ago | (#47469851)

Its not often that Time Warner looks good next to another corporation.

After sharing headlines with AOL, Comcast, and now Rupert Murdoch they may have run out of worse alternatives...

Assemble (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 2 months ago | (#47470593)

Now I'll never see spider man in the avengers

Re:Assemble (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 2 months ago | (#47470609)

Nope, not thinking straight. Now I'll never get Spiderman vs Batman.

The name of the company is 20th Century Fox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47470795)

WTF?

There's no company named 21st Century Fox.

Dipshit editors. Oh, wait....

Re:The name of the company is 20th Century Fox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47470813)

Never mind, there is.

It would have been funny (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 months ago | (#47470957)

Fox would have owned CNN.

Of course, FoxNews owns CNN's ass already.

Time-Warner owns DC comics (1)

Catbeller (118204) | about 2 months ago | (#47471135)

The subject line says it all.
No. No. No.

Secret Illuminati Plot... (1)

klingers48 (968406) | about 2 months ago | (#47472051)

I'm sure this thing was all just a secret Illuminati plot to put the X-Men and Fantastic 4 movie rights into the hands of DC Comics.
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