By Chris Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
BTIG’s Rich Greenfield is an analyst who seems to have never met a contrarian debate on the media business he didn’t like. This morning, he turned his attention towards online video site Hulu, arguing in a research note that its owners should think twice about selling the business (subscription needed). First round bid for Hulu, which is owned by News Corp., Disney, Comcast, and Providence Equity Partners, are due Wednesday and are expected to reach as high as $2 billion.
By David Callahan
All opinions expressed are his own.
Rupert and James Murdoch have even more explaining to do after Tuesday’s allegations that top editors at the News of the World knew about the use of phone hacking by reporters. While the Murdochs have pleaded ignorance about the sordid doings of their underlings, a growing pile of evidence suggests that at least James was very much in the loop. That is not surprising. You don’t build a business empire – or even inherit one – by being a hands-off boss. What’s more, subordinates in major corporations don’t tend to commit serious crimes unless they think such behavior is okay with the boss.
By Nicholas Wapshott
All opinions expressed are his own.
By this stage of the summer, Rupert Murdoch and his family would normally be relaxing on his yacht, The Rosehearty. But any hopes the magnate might have entertained that August would bring respite from the scandal that has engulfed his empire have been shattered by the release of two letters to the parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking by his papers. The excuse Murdoch gave to Parliament that he knew nothing of the wrongdoing is increasingly hard to credit. The blame for the routine invasion of privacy by his papers is now inching closer to Murdoch himself.
By Maureen Tkacik
The opinions expressed are her own.
No recent episode more vividly demonstrates the debasement the media has suffered in the ascent of Rupert Murdoch as its collective tsk-tsking over comedian Jonnie Marbles’ interruption of Murdoch’s Hackgate testimony. The outrage has generally echoed this New Republic missive:
I wrote last week that using the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to charge News Corp over allegations that officials at the now-shuttered News of the World bribed police officials would be an “enormous, unprecedented stretch…which seems unlikely to stand up in court.” There are two qualifiers to this; first, the column was referring to Guardian reports about payments to police supposedly made in 2003, which appear to have been for tips leading to stories for the paper. If it could be shown that subsequent sums to police were made to delay or thwart investigations into News Corp activity—a very big if—then those payments might come a little closer to the types of bribes historically punished under the FCPA. (Even there, however, U.S. authorities would still be reluctant to jump into such a case unless British prosecutors abandoned such an inquiry, which seems unlikely to occur any time soon.)
Customers at an apparent Apple Store in the Chinese city of Kunming berated staff and demanded refunds after the shop was revealed to be an elaborate fake, sparking a media and Internet frenzy. Staff were also angry at the unwanted attention after more than 1,000 media outlets picked up the story and pictures of the store from the BirdAbroad blog. Apple declined to comment on the fake store or others like it dotted around China.