Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox today withdrew its $80 billion offer to buy Time Warner after being rebuffed by the media giant.
“Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling,” Murdoch, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The proposed deal would have put several powerful media properties, including HBO, Fox News, 20th Century Fox and Warner studios, under a single umbrella. Such a massive deal was sure to draw scrutiny from regulators and consumer advocates worried about having so much power within a single company.
Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said last month that Murdoch’s offer undervalued the company’s brands. “Our business plans will create significantly more value for the company and our shareholders, and that’s superior to any proposal that Fox is in a position to offer,” Bewkes said in a video for employees.
Murdoch is known for his persistence and analysts have said that he may still try to acquire Time Warner. His bid was expected to unleash a wave of mergers in the media industry with companies scrambling to provide bulk offerings of movies and television shows across traditional television, cable and emerging mobile Internet platforms.
21st Century Fox also announced a $6 billion share repurchase program today.