Rupert Murdoch wants to merge Fox with News Corp, a deal that would reunite the television group behind the Fox cable news channel with the owner of newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal.
The 91-year-old media mogul has proposed the combination of the two companies in an all-stock deal to gain scale in a cut-throat and consolidate the media landscape.
The boards of Fox and News Corp have developed special committees of independent directors to evaluate the merger, said people familiar with the matter. It is not clear who would lead a combined group, these people said. Fox has a stock market capitalization of $17bn, compared to News Corp’s $9bn.
The move comes a decade after Murdoch decided to split his empire, saying at the time that his newspaper holdings and television assets would be “better managed” as separate entities.
But over the past decade, the internet has transformed the media business, and the industry has consolidated. Murdoch in 2019 sold most of his Fox assets to Disney, leaving the remaining group a relative minnow in an industry of conglomerates. Facing competition from the world’s largest companies — Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and Google — Murdoch is looking to build scale, according to people familiar with the matter.
In an internal email, News Corp told employees that it had received letters from Murdoch and the Murdoch family trust. Its board is assessing the combination, it said, but “has not made any determination at this time.”