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Thursday 22 February 2018

Rupert Murdoch’s media deals through the ages

Timeline showing the mogul’s major acquisitions since 1968.

Rupert Murdoch with sons Lachlan (left) and James (right) (PA)
Rupert Murdoch with sons Lachlan (left) and James (right) (PA)

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association City Reporter

Rupert Murdoch suffered a knockback after 21st Century Fox’s bid for Sky was provisionally blocked by the competition watchdog on Monday.

Here is a timeline showing the mogul’s major acquisitions to date.

1968: Mr Murdoch buys Britain’s News Of The World newspaper, building on his family’s media empire in Australia.

1969: The media mogul takes control of British tabloid the Sun.

1976: He purchases US tabloid the New York Post. It marks his second foray into the US market, having bought the San Antonio Express-News three years earlier.

1981: Mr Murdoch snaps up the owner of the Times and Sunday Times.

1985: He takes over the film unit of 20th Century Fox and a handful of local TV stations that will later become the Fox network.

1987: He buys US publisher Harper & Row, which is merged with his newly-purchased Williams Collins a few years later, becoming Harper Collins.

1989: Mr Murdoch launches Sky Television. One year later it is merged with TV company British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) to become BSkyB.

1996: He launches the American Fox News Channel, which becomes a major US cable network.

2005: The media mogul makes his first major foray into web-based media, buying social networking site Myspace, which struggles after Facebook gains dominance. It is sold by 2011. He later calls the purchase a “huge mistake”.

2007: Mr Murdoch acquires financial news organisation the Wall Street Journal.

2011: His media empire is hit with a major scandal after it was revealed that journalists at the News Of The World ordered the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler to be hacked. It later emerged that thousands of others were targeted by phone-hacking.

The news sparked a major inquiry, police investigations, arrests and the closure of the newspaper.

2011: News Corporation makes an offer to acquire BSkyB, but is forced to abandon its plans after becoming embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal.

January 2016: Son James Murdoch becomes chairman of Sky, having last held the role between 2003 and 2007. He had resigned following the phone-hacking scandal involving the Murdoch-owned News Of The World.

The return of James Murdoch raises questions as to whether 21st Century Fox would mount a fresh takeover bid for Sky.

December 2016: 21st Century Fox tables a formal £11.7 billion takeover bid for broadcaster Sky, offering to buy the 61% of the business it does not already own.

December 2017: Walt Disney launches a separate $52.4 billion (£39 billion) takeover of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, which would include its stake in Sky.

January 2018: 21st Century Fox’s bid for Sky is provisionally blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority watchdog due to fears that it would hand the Murdochs too much control over UK media.

Press Association

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