Rupert Murdoch’s broken promise over News Corp’s poison pill is causing plenty of ripples around the world. The Sunday Telegraph in London had an interesting story
this week pointing out that Hermes, the giant UK fund that pushes hard
on corporate governance issues and is part of the Delaware litigation
push, is also taking a stand on various matters at BSkyB over general “integrity issues.”

Meanwhile, Rupert provided his first public comments about the Delaware litigation in Rome overnight as you can see from this AAP story running on The SMH
website. It’s a very defiant Sun King who declared it was all “totally
legal,” even though it would be “totally illegal” in Australia:

“We said it was currently a policy of the board not to exit it (the poison pill)
without going to shareholders, and we expected a quick resolution of issues we
had with Liberty, but they proved difficult so we changed our policy, which was
totally legal,” Murdoch told Reuters on the sidelines of a press conference in
Rome.”It was never a bylaw, it was never a promise, it was never a pledge, which
has been reported in a lot of British press.”

Crikey is torn about going to New York for the News Corp AGM next week as Mrs Crikey is dead
against leaving her at home alone with the three kids for six nights.
Similarly, given that Rupert has committed to a shareholder information
meeting at The Advertiser building in Adelaide on November 16, there will still be a chance to lock horns with the world’s most powerful man.

However, that meeting won’t have any legal enforcement and Rupert can
refuse to answer questions or even kick me out on the basis that I’d
had a fair go in New York.

A Wall Street Journal hack send the following email overnight: “Hi there, I hear you are coming to New York to raise hell at the News
Corp annual meeting. I’m covering the company now and would love to
grab a beer with you when you’re in town if you have a moment.”

New York will be a big show down and it will be important to get
there. Has anyone got any thoughts on where to stay in New York and
whether
they’d like to come along as a proxy or, potentially, fire off the
questions if I end up staying home? Drop us a line at
[email protected]

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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