Eyeballing media magnates Rupert Murdoch and John Malone appear closer to a settlement over the latter's 18% voting stake in the former's News Corporation empire.

Murdoch says negotiations with the chairman of Liberty Media have become "more substantial" and he is "hopeful of a resolution in the next few months".

A possible solution mooted recently [WAMN: 13-Jun-06] could lie in the sale by NewsCorp of six US television stations to Liberty and the offer of $3.5 billion (€2.75bn; £3.88bn)in cash for the shareholding, which is worth around $13bn.

Malone has always denied any predatory intentions toward NewsCorp, but his 'friendly' stake has unnerved the controlling Murdoch clan and prompted their controversial 'poison pill' defense against further encroachment [WAMN: 19-May-06].

Goldman Sachs analyst David Roberts says a recent share price rerating of NewsCorp has improved the economics of a deal between the media groups.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff