Murdoch moves to reunite companies that own Fox News and the Wall Street Journal
Stephen L. Miller, David M. Smith
Bills authorizing the merger of two media companies that were separated after a failed 2011 bid for CNN have been approved in the House of Representatives. The merged company would be named Fox Corporation.
Ahead of the vote scheduled for Monday, the combined media group has submitted a merger plan that would result in a company with assets of $60 billion.
The bills passed by the House and Senate would also allow the combined company to take on three pending lawsuits brought by current or former employees at Murdoch’s News Corp.
Two of those cases – the class-action suits brought by employees at the companies that were owned by News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch – were dismissed last week by U.S. District Judge Sheri Pym in Los Angeles County.
The decision was immediately challenged by several employees and lawyers for the plaintiffs. Among those are employees in the case of former Fox News anchor Lauren Sivan, who lost her claim after the judge said the case is too similar to the Fox News-friendly “workplace discrimination” lawsuit brought by former producer Rebecca Mansour and former Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo.
The judge ruled that former News Corp. employees who worked outside of the United States could file class-action lawsuits against the company that’s now owned by Murdoch. She said other employees’ rights to join a class action suit can be addressed later.
“I think that really undermines the decision in Fox News,” lawyer Marc Randazza, who represents several former News Corp. employees in the lawsuits, told ABC News. “The judge never has had any reason to examine the similarities between the individual cases and the common issues and issues of law and fact which need to be addressed to resolve the case.”
Last week, Judge Pym told the judge overseeing the class-action suits that it was too