Blog Post

Murdoch’s Tangled Web?

Emily Bell, the editor-in-chief of Guardian Online, writes a piece on Rupert’ Murdoch’s “renewed interest” in online, and how MySpace acquisition is something which may not work out for the company. Which, in itself, is a fair opinion and argument to be made.

But then, this: “In a company which has reinvented everything from the tabloid newspaper to the television establishment, heading to the shops for online expertise makes News Corp and Murdoch seem less like visionaries and more like spectators.”

Here she makes the classic journalistic mistake: laziness. And not seeing it in the bigger context. What’s so hard to understand in an acquisition? It is what it is…in the evolution of an industry, that’s what bigger player always do: they buy. That’s what Murdoch is doing here. Take it from me: everybody and their mother in law wanted to buy MySpace. If you would have used it, and spent some time combing through the dynamic working there, you would have been amazed. The buyout price reflects that glamor element, not the best thing, but understandable.

Just because AOL-TW merger went in a mess doesn’t mean everything else will. And just because there are 20 stories talking about the death of media conglomerate, doesn’t mean the conglomeration will end.

If you sit and talk to VC, investment bankers, lawyers, deal-making CEOs, you’ll quickly realize what it is: for them, it is a game, an adrenaline rush, a prize. It is almost immaterial what the end result of any acquisition is for them, as long as they can keep doing it. However much you want to buy into the Web 2.0 meme, the reality is that deals (power play) is a natural human instinct, as much as greed it. Everything is, as always, in play…

OK, enough ranting from me.