Virgin Media started a bidding war for Dow Jones today by offering $6 billion for the company, $1 billion more than previously offered by News Corporation.
Virgin, led by Richard Branson, operates an extensive media operation under its Virgin Media subsidiary. Branson said that the Dow Jones portfolio of publishing and financial information would have great synergies with the entire Virgin operation.
News Corp., controlled by Australian Rupert Murdoch, is reported to be considering whether to up its bid. Murdoch is widely reported to hate losing, especially to anyone British.
Early reports indicate that young members of the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones, are agitating for the company to be sold so they can blow their inheritance on even more outrageous luxury expenditures. Older members of the family have been resistant to any offers in their desire to preserve the company's editorial independence, especially with its flagship newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. However, Christopher Bancroft, one of the leaders of the old guard, is said to be impressed with Branson and more trusting that he would protect journalistic integrity.