The Guardian: News Corp. faces Russian bidding war
"Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation looks set to become embroiled in a bidding war with rival Russian investors as it tries to strengthen its position in the Russian media market. Local news agency Interfax reported last week that News Corp was holding negotiations to acquire a stake in Ren-TV, the only remaining major television channel in Russia that is not under state control."
"But now the original founders of Ren-TV have announced their intention to win back some control of the channel, which broadcasts to more than 700 cities and towns. A spokesman for Ren-TV said today that the station's founders, Irena and Dmitry Lesnevsky, have begun negotiating to buy back their shares in the channel just a month after selling their 30% stake."
"The size of the stake that the Murdoch empire could acquire is restricted by a law that says no foreign or Russian entity that has foreign shareholders can own more than 50% of a TV channel."
"News Corp already owns a street-advertising business in Russia and the popular radio station Nashe Radio. But if successful, a News Corp bid for Ren-TV would mark the first time the global media empire has been able to get a serious foothold in Russian television."