NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker has said the General Electric-owned media group was constrained from matching News Corp.'s $5 billion bid for Dow Jones due to the size of the premium.
"When you have shareholders who you have to create value for, you have to be fiscally disciplined. When you are the shareholder that matters, you play a different game," he was quoted as saying in a Financial Times interview on Friday, referring to Rupert Murdoch's controlling stake in News Corp. .
He added: "I am not going to presume to know what's in Rupert's mind in terms of why he's bid what he's bid. But you have to remember, this has been a pattern he has always followed," Zucker said.
General Electric and Pearson said on June 21 they would not pursue a joint offer for Dow Jones, removing a potential challenge to the bid by News Corp.
GE -- which controls NBC Universal, the operator of business news channel CNBC -- and Pearson, publisher of the Financial Times, said they had held exploratory talks about combining their financial news outlets with Dow Jones.
Murdoch has bid $5 billion or $60 per share for Dow Jones, a 65% premium to the company's share price before the deal was disclosed in May.