Explaining the Cozy Relationship Between Apple and News Corp.

This week's big product news fromApple (AAPL) was made possible in part by News Corp. (NWS), which agreed to make its TV shows available for rent at the ultra-low price of 99 cents per episode via the Apple TV device. While Disney (DIS) also went along with the pricing scheme -- no surprise, since Steve Jobs sits on the Disney board -- CBS (CBS), Viacom (VIA) and NBC Universal all held out, worried that show rentals could undermine their economic model. Why, one wonders, would News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch -- who's made plenty of noise in the past year about the importance of getting paid in full for quality content -- come to a different conclusion?

Special Friends

In fact, for two men who outwardly have little in common, save for spectacular wealth, Murdoch and Apple boss Steve Jobs are awfully simpatico these days. Murdoch has often gushed with admiration for the iPad, which he calls a "game-changer" that will revive the newspaper industry. That's in marked contrast to his stance toward the Kindle, whose maker, Amazon (AMZN), galls Murdoch with its stingy revenue split and refusal to share customers' data.

Murdoch's Wall Street Journal is one of the only publications that already sells subscriptions to its iPad edition. Other publishers, like Time Inc. and Conde Nast, have waited in frustration for the same privilege, contenting themselves by selling single copies. And that's not the only special treatment News Corp. has received from Apple: There's also the latter's unexplained decision to approve The Sun's iPad app, which allows readers to see the full, uncensored content of that newspaper, nudity and all. Other apps featuring nudity, or even suggestive partial nudity, have been rejected on those grounds.

Shared Ambitions

For his part, Jobs was no doubt pleased when News Corp. abandoned vague ambitions to develop an e-reader of its own. Jobs' strategy of using other people's cheap content to drive sales of expensive Apple devices also dovetails nicely with Murdoch's historic willingness to engage in price wars with competitors he regards as less deep-pocketed, more susceptible to investor pressure, or simply less committed than he. For all his talk of the high value of content, he's always been willing practically give it away if that means inflicting pain on a rival, be it the New York Daily News or the London Telegraph. (The same goes for advertising.)

Rupert and Steve: a bromance for the ages.

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BLUEWHITEMARBLE

murdoch uses his billions to pave a road full of pits, traps and falls. thank you

September 05 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
contactjohn

Anyone notice Murdoch spent $500 million on Sean Hannity before he made a dime. When this article refers to deep pockets they are referring to the Rothschilds City of London "We own the world" deep pockets. This should scare everyone to death, they are the ones behind Murdoch's global empire. It is time to break up the monopolist who are not free market and are not competitive but are monopolies by the super rich! Check this out, the House of Rothschild is worth $500 trillion! Still think that is a free market?

September 04 2010 at 10:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
contactjohn

Anyone notice Murdoch spent $500 million on Sean Hannity before he made a dime. When this article refers to deep pockets they are referring to the Rothschilds City of London "We own the world" deep pockets. This should scare everyone to death, they are the ones behind Murdoch's global empire. It is time to break up the monopolist who are not free market and are not competitive but are monopolies by the super rich! Check this out, the House of Rothschild is worth $500 trillion! Still think that is a free market?

September 04 2010 at 10:37 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
contactjohn

Anyone notice Murdoch spent $500 million on Sean Hannity before he made a dime. When this article refers to deep pockets they are referring to the Rothschilds City of London "We own the world" deep pockets. This should scare everyone to death, they are the ones behind Murdoch's global empire. It is time to break up the monopolist who are not free market and are not competitive but are monopolies by the super rich! Check this out, the House of Rothschild is worth $500 trillion! Still think that is a free market?

September 04 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
contactjohn

Anyone notice Murdoch spent $500 million on Sean Hannity before he made a dime. When this article refers to deep pockets they are referring to the Rothschilds City of London "We own the world" deep pockets. This should scare everyone to death, they are the ones behind Murdoch's global empire. It is time to break up the monopolist who are not free market and are not competitive but are monopolies by the super rich! Check this out, the House of Rothschild is worth $500 trillion! Still think that is a free market?

September 04 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Happy Face

Sounds like a sour grapes article. Competition is good for the market.

September 04 2010 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Happy Face's comment
the DAN

its not really competition when its 2 of the richest/powerful men who ever lived

September 04 2010 at 9:49 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
txmack75904

YOU IDIOTS HAVE IT all wrong...obama already owns CBS,NBC,MSNBC.AND ABC

September 04 2010 at 4:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to txmack75904's comment
the DAN

Blast! You've discovered the Evil Socialist/Fascist/Muslim/Communist/Racist/Liberal Media Conspiracy! Looks like we've been foiled this time...

September 04 2010 at 9:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
leoleo62

I was wondering why Apple has been getting hammered by the mainstream press

September 04 2010 at 1:40 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
undrgrndgirl

what would explain a relationship between steve jobs and rupert murdoch? um...let me think...could it be MONEY?

September 04 2010 at 11:51 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
usblues801

I wonder when the story about the COZY relationship between Obama and GE will be written. Or the story about the COZY relationship between Obama and Goldman Sachs with numerous former employees working under Obama will be written. I sure hope they get to those stories soon. LOLOL

September 04 2010 at 10:24 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to usblues801's comment
tool3line2

Go away. This is about a news outlet that also just gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Conference. As Obama does not financially own any media outlet, your comment is just plain stupid.

September 04 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply