As people continue to chew over News Corp.'s bid for Dow Jones, some are wondering what the potential implications are for financial news network CNBC, which is a joint venture between Dow Jones and GE's NBC unit. Because News Corp. is going to launch its own Fox business channel at some point, it seems inevitable that the company would extricate Dow Jones from CNBC (as soon as legally possible), if its bid were to be successful. As it is, a Fox business channel would likely prove to be a formidable competitor to CNBC (just look what Fox News did to CNN's ratings), and the addition of Dow Jones' assets would make it even more so. All of this comes at a time when some are encouraging GE to divest itself of non-core assets, like NBC. Obviously, CNBC isn't a big part of GE's total operations, but it is significant to the NBC business. If Dow Jones appears ready to accept an offer from News Corp. (which remains in doubt at the moment), GE might have to look seriously at the future of CNBC, and by extension NBC. Some are speculating that GE might make a rival bid for Dow Jones; the company could probably afford it, but it would be extremely costly, considering how rich the offer from News Corp. is. If GE were to do something else with NBC, such as spin it off or sell it to private equity (all of which is entirely speculative right now), then News Corp.'s offer for Dow Jones could represent the beginning of some major changes across the big media landscape.
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