Murdoch's billion dollar peace with WorldCom

The cost of getting rid of ASkyB headache

The cost of getting rid of ASkyB headache

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has settled a long running dispute by giving $930m to WorldCom.

The payment marks the final chapter in News Corp's 1995 venture with telco and eventual WorldCom acquisition MCI to build a US satellite TV business called ASkyB.

Shortly after the joint venture began MCI started to get cold feet, and when it reduced its stake News Corp sought another partner. However, a deal with EchoStar Communications also turned acrimonious and Murdoch's goal of a pan-American satellite business remains unrealised.

WorldCom will receive $680m in News Corp stock and a further $250m in cash. The company is likely to use the funds to reduce debt.