Murdoch wins takeover 'pill'

Rupert Murdoch has won the crucial battle to retain an anti-takeover rule — a so-called "poison pill" — which will, for some time at least, help him keep control of his media empire.

The anti-takeover amendment was originally passed two years ago to thwart a feared threat from one of News Corp's largest investors, John Malone of the Liberty Media Corp, who owns around 19 per cent of the company's shares.

Some 57 per cent of the votes cast gave the board the right to retain the plan for three more years. Just under 43 per cent voted against. A substantial increase in the value of News Corp shares in the past year — up by 40 per cent — helped Murdoch's case.

At the shareholder meeting, Cliff Kinkaid, editor of the conservative group Accuracy in Media, said he was disturbed that Murdoch's usually conservative politics were "drifting leftward" — a suspicion provoked by Murdoch's apparent support recently of Hillary Clinton in her possible pursuit of the American presidency.

Murdoch responded: "I am the same person I was last year" and insisted the company's political views remained "independent". Murdoch said News Corp had given as much money to the American Democratic Party as the Republican Party.

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