Asked about rumours that he was eyeing NBC, which is owned by General Electric (GE), Mr Murdoch said: "One or two well-known people on the [Time Warner] board are very much in favour of buying it and the rest are ... opposed to it".
Officials close to Mr Murdoch attempted to suggest that he "misspoke". What he said about NBC was "a bit of a mistake" an official at News Corporation, Murdoch's media conglomerate, told the New York Times yesterday. Time Warner and GE issued denials. They could face serious punishment under US law if they said buy-out negotiations were not going on when in fact they were.