The Reading Room

Murdoch shows fear of Google

For a while it has felt like nothing could get in the way of News International. Even Vince the Cable couldn’t stand in the way of the takeover of BSKYB. Miraculous forces seemed to step in by bugging him saying that he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch. The Empire once again seemed to find a way.

But James Murdoch, Deputy COO and the apprentice to father Rupert, does seem a bit more open about his fears. It is worth taking note of what he said in an interview at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity recently. He tellingly revealed that it was the threat posed by tech and telecoms companies that would be the defining issue facing News Corp’s next decade.

He said:

“So when you actually look at the competitive set in the all media marketplace, when you know you have sort of monolithic brands like Google, Apple… Telefonica, Deutsche Telecom, Verizon… there are much, much bigger beasts than a News Corp or a Time Warner.”

“That is a real challenge for us going forward – how do we make sure we can compete at scale globally with these new players.. [and still be] quick and creative and risk-taking,” he added. “I think it is something very much unresolved. A big factor over how this plays out over the next five to 10 years is going to be how we do that. How we make ourselves as good at a much bigger scale as we can be.”

It seems that the kids starting tech companies in garages may still slay Goliath. PS

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