Thursday, February 5, 2004

Who trusts James Murdoch?

John writes "if your business exists solely to serve the needs of its shareholders, why would I, not being a shareholder, believe you will take care of my interests?"

Yes, but which shareholders? Since the Murdoch family has an interest in both News International and Sky, there is a potential conflict of interest when it comes to prices paid by Sky to News International. It is the non-Murdoch shareholders who have to trust James Murdoch that he will put the interests of all Sky shareholders above the interests of the Murdoch family. Or can Rupert Murdoch (who engineered the CEO role at Sky for his son) trust James to place the Murdoch interests above the Sky interests?

Remember Enron, reminds John. The Enron bosses were shareholders too - but they were quietly dumping their shares.

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