There is no wonder that the News Limited papers are so quick to spot wasteful spending by governments. They are part of a company that is a specialist in just that subject. “News Corp.’s shareholders have lost $25 billion since Rupert Murdoch offered 14.6 times Dow Jones & Co.’s profit to buy the Wall Street Journal,” reports the Bloomberg financial news service.

The Bloomberg story was commenting on News Corp. winning approval from the U.K.government this week for its bid to purchase the 61 percent of Britain’s biggest pay-television operator it doesn’t already own.

Murdoch, who turns 80 next week, wants BSkyB as he tries to boost revenue and prop up a stock that is less valuable relative to earnings than any of its biggest competitors. BSkyB has grown faster than its four main rivals and would help Murdoch expand his media company that includes the Fox TV networks and book publisher HarperCollins. Since closing the Dow Jones deal in 2007, News Corp. (NWSA) has fallen 13 percent while media companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index have gained 18 percent.

Here’s the record of the company’s shares on the ASX:

The red line is the News share price, the green line a 20 month moving average and the blue line the S&P/ASX 200 index

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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