Trouble For Murdoch

While I still prefer my own proposal for Dow Jones, there are some new developments that we should keep our eyes on.

General Electric (parent of CNBC) is talking with Pearson (parent of Financial Times) about joining to bid for Dow Jones. The deal would allow the Bancrofts to keep a share of the company.

Billionaire Ron Burkle is reportedly interested in bidding for Dow Jones and has been working with the company’s union to put a deal together. One scenario has Yahoo, on whose board Burkle sits, becoming a partner in the transaction.

The Yahoo connection to Burkle’s bid takes on a new and ominous wrinkle with reports that Murdoch is interested in trading MySpace for a 25% share of Yahoo. What an evil genius. If Burkle/Yahoo buy Dow Jones and then Murdoch executes the MySpace swap, Murdoch would still end up with significant chunk of DJ. If Murdoch pulls off the MySpace swap first, he would be in a position to steer Yahoo away from Burkle, thus eliminating, or at least slowing down, his competition for DJ. In any case, it’s a terrible deal for Yahoo which would be paying the equivalent of $10 billion dollars for a property Murdoch bought a year ago for $580 million. Yahoo could have the faster-growing Facebook for only $2 billion.

But the juiciest revelation to date is this teaser about a major investigation of the Murdoch empire being conducted by the New York Times. I don’t know if this just a human interest story or if they have some dirt on Rupert, but I sure hope it’s the latter.

Stay Tuned.