The Wall Street Journal is reporting that G.E. and Pearson are exploring a joint bid to buy Dow Jones, Inc.
Early armchair analysis: The deal would put the two companies, which collectively control CNBC, The Financial Times and a part of The Economist, together with The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and Barron's–a good defensive position given Mr. Murdoch's plan to begin a new financial news television network and remove the annoying FT from its backyard by promoting the Journal.
Mr. Murdoch's offer of $60 a share will be tough for G.E. and Pearson to beat; the deal probably hinges on involving the Bancrofts in the complicated new entity, thereby keeping them involved in the Journal and reducing the tax liabilities they would face from Murdoch's all-cash offer.
Plus all the usual warnings: This is just preliminary.