Dow Jones denies deal with News Corp.


LONDON (AP) – Dow Jones & Co. Inc. denied a news report Friday that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has agreed on terms for its $5 billion bid for the company.

Linda Dunbar, a spokeswoman for Dow Jones, said the article posted on the Web site of financial magazine The Business that there was an agreement was “incorrect.” She did not give details.

A spokesman for the Bancroft family, which has a majority stake in Dow Jones, said there had been “no change in the status of the discussions.” News Corp. is conducting due diligence and the negotiations are not complete, he said.

On its Web site earlier Friday, The Business, citing sources acting for the Dow Jones board, said that negotiations on the deal have been completed and that the board is confident it will be accepted by the Bancrofts, over the next few days.

The report, written by Andrew Neil, a former Murdoch lieutenant and the chief executive of Press Holdings Media Group, which owns The Business, said that the deal was delayed until an agreement on a legally enforceable undertaking by Murdoch to “preserve the Wall Street Journal’s editorial independence.”

News Corp. has offered $60 a share for Dow Jones stock, a premium of about 65 percent premium on the mid-$30s level Dow Jones shares were trading at prior to his offer becoming public.

AP-ES-07-06-07 1201EDT