Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is to pay telecoms group WorldCom $930 million to settle all claims relating to a failed US satellite TV venture.
WorldCom’s MCI unit (which it purchased in 1998) allied with NewsCorp back in 1995 to establish a satellite venture named American Sky Broadcasting. Murdoch’s group took an 80% stake in ASkyB, which intended to roll out a 200-channel offering in late 1997.
However, after a series of failed attempts to get a satellite service off the ground, the venture was unwound, with ASkyB’s assets sold to EchoStar in 1999.
Concluding the affair, NewsCorp will pay WorldCom $250m in cash plus 121.2m preferred limited-voting ordinary shares, worth around $680m.
Data sourced from: MediaWeek.com (USA); additional content by WARC staff