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News Corp. Considering Plan to Unite Satellite Businesses

The move is an apparent effort to beef up the company's digital strategy.

Media giant

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get News Corporation Class B Report

said Monday that it was evaluating a plan to unify its satellite businesses into one company in an apparent effort to beef up the company's digital strategy.

"We have under serious consideration plans to consolidate our worldwide satellite platforms and certain related assets under one umbrella entity," News Corp. said in a statement

News Corp., which includes

Fox Broadcasting


Twentieth Century Fox

and the

Los Angeles Dodgers

among its properties worldwide, was trading down 3/8, or 1%, at 56 5/8 by late morning Monday, after opening down 2. (News Corp. closed down 3/4, or 1.32%, at 56 1/4.)

The Wall Street Journal

reported Monday that Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman and chief executive, was planning to consolidate all of News Corp.'s global satellite operations and investments into a new public company. But the company said it was too early to say what businesses the final entity would consist of or whether it would be spun off.

"It is premature to speculate on the final format of this umbrella entity, the makeup of its assets, the identity of its investors or whether the entity will be a public company," News Corp. said.

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A move to consolidate News Corp's satellite businesses would, however, indicate that Murdoch is prepared to address criticism regarding his lack of a clear digital strategy. Murdoch has come under pressure to match strategic deals such as

America Online's


proposed acquisition of

Time Warner



By unifying the company's satellite operations Murdoch would also be demonstrating that he believes satellites are going to be primarily responsible for supplying broadband access into homes outside of the U.S.

Murdoch said on Thursday in an interview with the

Fox News

cable network, which News Corp. owns, that he would have to work harder in order to increase the company's market value or else run the risk of becoming "a breakfast snack" for other big companies.

Murdoch noted that many of News Corp.'s businesses such as its Asian satellite business

Star TV

and British satellite group

British Sky Broadcasting Group

, which is 40% owned by News Corp., were undervalued. He added that News Corp. was reviewing all of its businesses in order to enter the digital age.