Both Microsoft and GE were in discussions in recent weeks to combine Dow Jones with some portions of GE’s NBCU, in response to the News Corp bid, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement, according to this WSJ story, citing sources. GE and Microsoft were discussing a competing $60-a-share offer, before talks fell through. GE and NBCU own CNBC, rival to the proposed Fox Business Channel and WSJ is the paper fell in News Corp’s hands. The breakdown of the NBC-Microsoft talks is a further sign that the options for Dow Jones may be narrowing, the story says, though I’m sure the employees union trying to get other bids might have different views on this.
Microsoft and GE have worked together in the past, on MSNBC (with mixed results), and theoretically GE might make another try along with another company, the story says.