NEW YORK: The ongoing saga of Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion (€3.74bn; £2.54bn) bid for Dow Jones and its flagship title the Wall Street Journal, has a new twist following reports that Microsoft and US entertainment giant NBC Universal looked at making a joint play for the business.

The pair decided against pursuing a deal, say sources close to the action, after detailed analysis revealed "the economics just didn't make sense".

None of the parties involved have made any statements but insiders claim Dow Jones' ruling dynasty, the Bancrofts, contacted NBC through the investment bankers they hired following the Murdoch offer.

The entertainment business then reportedly contacted Microsoft about the possibility of a joint move. But a person close to the two companies claimed the plan was abandoned after the duo were unable to see a way forward at a price equal to or higher than Murdoch's.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff