Dow Jones shares rose four percent on news that the Bancroft family was meeting to discuss Rupert Murdoch's offer for the company, but comments from one member of the clan (who is also on the board) may cause concern. The Wall Street Journal reports that Christopher Bancroft—who did not attend the meeting—feels that Murdoch would compromise the paper's independence. ""Why would I risk that? I'm open to any situation that benefits The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones and its shareholders. At the moment, I don't see anything that would do that." The Journal sees this as a sign that the deal might not go through:
The comments by Mr. Bancroft, a Dallas-area businessman, are significant because of his position both as a trustee of the family's fortune and as one of Dow Jones's 16 directors. He and his two siblings control about one-third of the Bancroft clan's stake in Dow Jones. He has been regarded by some in the News Corp. camp as a potential swing vote who could steer the family in its favor.The paper once again notes that the bid has "laid bare old faultlines within the family over its stewardship of the company" and pits the younger Bancrofts against their elders.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Murdoch "defended himself against accusations that he had allowed political pressure from the Chinese government to influence his business decisions." The paper takes a look at his relations with China, which at one point involved a brief partnership with Dow Jones. James Ottaway, whose family controls approximately 5 percent of the company's shares, "has dedicated much of his life to supporting a free press in China. He proudly notes that Xu Wenli, a democracy activist, spent his first night of freedom in the Ottaways' Manhattan apartment after he was released from a Chinese prison in 2004. He has also helped to create a database of 3,000 Chinese dissidents." So he's not exactly a fan of the deal.