Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox said Time Warner has rejected an offer it made last month to combine the two media entertainment giants.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. also said Wednesday in a brief statement that it is not currently in discussions with Time Warner. Shares of Time Warner jumped 16 percent to $83 Wednesday, while Twenty-First Century Fox had dipped by 2 percent to about $34.50.
The New York Times reported that the June bid totaled $80 billion, or $85 in stock and cash for each Time Warner Inc. share. The report cited anonymous sources and said Twenty-First Century Fox would have sold CNN as part of the deal to avoid anti-trust concerns. Its Fox News competes directly with the news network.
The Times also said that Murdoch is determined to make a deal.
That price amounted to a 25 premium to Time Warner's stock price at the time. The Times said Time Warner's board discussed the offer at length and then rejected it, stating that the company was better off remaining independent.
A Time Warner representative did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. The New York company's holdings include the cable movie channel HBO and Warner Bros. studios.
Murdoch has been adding on to his media empire during his 50-year career. He inherited several regional and local Australian newspapers from his father. Murdoch went on to found and head global media conglomerate News Corporation, which bought several newspapers including the UK's News of the World and the Wall Street Journal. In 1986, he created Fox Broadcasting.
However, Murdoch's career has also been marked by controversy. In 2011, he faced allegations that his companies, including News of the World, hacked phone calls of celebrities, royal family members, and others, including Milly Dowler, a British teenager who was murdered in 2002. The Guardian reported that News of the World reporters had hacked into Ms. Dowler's voicemail while she was still missing and deleted some of the voicemails – and potential evidence – that misled people to believe she was still alive. The case later led to News of the World shutting down and several investigations about British media's tactics and ethics.
In February, Comcast proposed to acquire Time Warner Cable, which is split from Time Warner. The possible merger is currently being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission and the US Department of Justice.