Global round-up: Murdoch drops Warner bid

21st Century Fox chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch has told Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes that he has withdrawn an $80 billion offer to purchase the media corporation.

Fox made a formal proposal to buy out Time Warner in June and merge the two companies.

At the time Mr Bewkes rejected the bid and later posted a video to Time Warner staff stating that the company had no interest in 21st Century Fox’s proposal, leading to market speculation that Mr Murdoch may sweeten the offer .

In a statement announcing the withdrawal of the outstanding acquisition proposal, Mr Murdoch said that a combination with Time Warner would have been a unique opportunity and that the original proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale.

“However, Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling.

“Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders.

“These factors, coupled with our commitment to be both disciplined in our approach to the combination and focused on delivering value for the Fox shareholders, has led us to withdraw our offer.”

As reported in The News York Times, Mr Murdoch informed Mr Bewkes of his company’s decision to take the offer off the table with an email and written note on Tuesday.

It read: “On behalf of our board and senior management team, I am writing to inform you that we are withdrawing our offer to acquire Time Warner, effective immediately.”

Outage shows Facebook’s impact on traffic

A recent Facebook outage resulted in some interesting figures on how the social media site affects web traffic.

Data and analytics company Chartbeat posted an article that looked at the website traffic fluctuations as a result of the outage, based on the company’s data.

“Facebook referrals dropped by almost 70 per cent during the outage (note that traffic didn’t drop to 0, presumably because some number of people had Facebook pages open before the outage),” it said.

“There’s certainly a drop in dark social (traffic to articles that lacks a referrer because it comes via HTTPS or apps), but it’s not nearly as stark, and dark social traffic just before the outage was only 11 per cent higher than at its low point during the outage.”

The study also showed that entrance to websites on mobile devices was down 8.5 per cent during the outage – when comparing the minute before the outage to the lowest traffic point during it – indicating that Facebook is a significant driver of mobile web traffic.

However, interestingly, there was an overall increase in desktop traffic after the outage, which was, “largely fuelled by a 9 per cent increase in homepage direct traffic on sites with loyal homepage followings.”

News Corp looks at new app service

News Corp is currently working on a news service aimed at “millennials” that will be app-based and “blend original reporting with repurposed content from News Corp properties such as The Wall Street Journal”, according to a report in The Financial Times.

The Financial Times said that News Corp would make a decision in the forthcoming weeks on whether to launch the service, which is among several digital projects the corporation is working on.

News Corp, in a statement to The Financial Times, said: ”We continue to develop potential platforms that further our digital and global growth strategy”.

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