Although he contends that he won't "actively work" to derail EchoStar's
DirecTV takeover, Rupert Murdoch said he hasn't decided whether to challenge the
deal with anti-trust regulators.
"We haven't made up our mind at all on it," the News Corp. chairman said following the relase of News Corp.'s earnings Wednesday. "There will certainly be a lot of people" opposing it.
The News Corp. chairman was the losing suitor in
negotiations to take over DirecTV parent Hughes Electronics, watching it
snatched away by EchoStar's Charlie Ergen.
But Murdoch said that Hughes took Ergen's offer "With very little reference to the regulatory risks, which every party now recognizes as very, very high."
He said that all sorts of programmers will probably
lobby the Department of Justice on the deal to keep Ergen's planned DBS monopoly
from having too much leverage over networks.
When Ergen announced the deal "The first thing out of his mouth was how much
he was gong to squeeze all these companies on pricing.
It wouldn't surprise me to see lawsuits coming from this, not neccessarily by us," Murdoch said.
But even after 18 months of negotiations ended in futility, "We're not obsessing aobut it, life's too short. We're just picking ourselves up moving on."
- John M. Higgins