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Nikkei to buy Financial Times for $1.31 bil

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Wow! Way to go, Nikkei!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Another purchase of an English-language news outfit by a Japanese media conglomerate.

I wonder if the FT will now name Tokyo the world's most liveable city, like Monocle magazine did after the Nikkei picked up an ownership stake in it. http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/tokyo-named-most-liveable-city-in-world-by-monocle-magazine

Joking aside, the FT has always been one of the word's top and trusted business newspapers. I worry that this will compromise the impartiality and editorial independence of the FT.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I subscribe to the Economist which is 50% owned by the FT. I'm not too happy about this but it could have been someone much worse. I suspect Nikkei has ridiculously overpaid and will end up selling their stake in a few years (perhaps when their remaining readers in Japan die from old age and the money runs out). That's usually how Japanese overseas investments turn out.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

$1.31 billion is quite a bit of money. And it leaves you wondering how Nikkei will develop FT and increase sales without alienating a finicky web customer base who could turn elsewhere and a newspaper that appeals to traditionalists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This makes financial sense for FT, but Nikkei is basically a PR machine for Japanese business - they were reluctant to report on Olympus in 2011 (broken by FT) and were late to report on lethal Japanese air-bags (long reported i=on by NY Times).

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Of course it will be turned into a rag to promote Japanese business interests. Nickel have to recoup their money somehow.

The reality is that the FT is just another dinosaur marauding in the digital age. Nikkei bought themselves a pig in a poke.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Promoting Japanese business or economic fundamentalism, it makes little difference. Though the FT was better than most it is a dinosaur in the net age and fitting that it will be bought by a company that still thinks dinosaurs all the rage.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

why anybody would invest in newspaper companies is beyond me, there are so many free alternatives on internet, even one Australias richest men, James Packer has sold much of his media empire and put it in casinos. He could see the writing on the wall years ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How do you get the foreign media to say what you want them to say? You buy them out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I worry that this will compromise the impartiality and editorial independence of the FT.

Indeed. The FT doesn't pull its punches, and long may that remain. The alternative is a race-to-the-bottom against Murdoch's WSJ.

Perhaps recognition of this core value (competency, even) and the brand equity it brings, could have a catalytic effect on J-Media to boot?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Economist 50% and London HQ not included. paying way over the odds. synergies will be minimal as Japanese and UK press reporting standards wildly different. another sign thta we are at the top of the market, Japanese companies overpaying for foreign assets.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wonder why Murdoch didn't buy them out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope they transfer over some of the FT writers and editors to the NAR

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quote from Japan Focus: "Abe [made] a statement in parliament expressing his unhappiness that 'the ideas of our country' [are] being misunderstood by foreigners. He went on to call for measures to 'actively collect and spread information so that we will be correctly understood.'" http://japanfocus.org/-Tessa-Morris_Suzuki/3966/article.html

Anyway, given recent Abe and LDP moves and comments regarding a more cooperative media, I can't help but suspect that this FT buyout and other recent purchases of stakes in English-language news and information companies by the Nikkei, Fuji HD and other Japanese media conglomerates are somehow linked to Abe's media strategy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Heck... I wish the powers that be at Nikkei good luck... I hope they're able to continue to publish the FT to the highest standards.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

£844 million ($1.31 billion, 1.2 billion euros) for a paper with a small circulation of 720,000. I am not surprised. Nikkei is a rich newspaper company most expensive in Japan. I pay 4,500 yen per month. I wish good journalists will not leave the paper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We can now look forward to the Financial Times reporting about how dynamic and innovative Japanese companies and the Japanese economy are, and how Japan is such a wonderful place to invest one's money. It will publish articles on how hard Abe and the LDP are working to promote business, and it will not publish articles on messy scandals like those which occurred with Olympus and now Toshiba.

A few years ago the Olympus scandal appeared on the front pages of the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, while Japanese publications buried the story, and limited it to a few paragraphs about how the scandal was nothing more than a scare caused by a foreigner who didn't understand Japanese business culture. Japanese papers are loathe to publish any story critical of Japan Inc, or critical of any company which advertises with them. It will be interesting to see if the Financial Times does the same thing under their new ownership.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This makes financial sense for FT, but Nikkei is basically a PR machine for Japanese business - they were reluctant to report on Olympus in 2011 (broken by FT) and were late to report on lethal Japanese air-bags (long reported i=on by NY Times).

just because FT broke the story doesn't mean that the Nikkei didn't report it. your use of "reluctanct" has not proof. And your other example also implies the same thing. Again, your use of "late" is relative and also without proof. but thanks for bashing Japan whenever you get the chace!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

nakanoguy01JUL. 24, 2015 - 03:12PM JST This makes financial sense for FT, but Nikkei is basically a PR machine for Japanese business - they were reluctant to report on Olympus in 2011 (broken by FT) and were late to report on lethal Japanese air-bags (long reported i=on by NY Times). just because FT broke the story doesn't mean that the Nikkei didn't report it. your use of "reluctanct" has not proof. And your other example also implies the same thing. Again, your use of "late" is relative and also without proof. but thanks for bashing Japan whenever you get the chace!

Are you at all familiar with Japaneses press practices and their relationship with business and politics? I think you wouldn't make a statement like this if you did - Japanese media lacks impartiality, that is a well known fact around the world.

Ask yourself this; why is it that whenever there is a financial scandal in Japan it is often the foreign press that report on it first.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ask yourself this; why is it that whenever there is a financial scandal in Japan it is often the foreign press that report on it first.

I'd rather ask myself: why is it that the Japanese media leaks business-related scandals to the foreign press intentionally, and then reports by citing that, in order to avoid drawing attention to itself?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I'd rather ask myself: why is it that the Japanese media leaks business-related scandals to the foreign press intentionally, and then reports by citing that, in order to avoid drawing attention to itself?

Do you have something to show that this is what happens?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if the FT will now name Tokyo the world's most liveable city

Perhaps the FT's influence will push things the other way and the Nikkei will reveal that Middlesborough is the world's most exciting city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ask yourself this; why is it that whenever there is a financial scandal in Japan it is often the foreign press that report on it first.

Do you have any examples of this that are not Olympus?

And BTW, the foreign press got a head start on Olympus only because the CEO whistleblower went directly to the foreign press because he lacked the ability to speak Japanese.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

the CEO whistleblower

Please get your facts right. The original whistleblower was Japanese.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a long-time subscriber to The Economist magazine living in Japan, I sincerely hope that this will not affect the magazine's editorial policy with regard to its articles concerning Japan and Eastern Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And BTW, the foreign press got a head start on Olympus only because the CEO whistleblower went directly to the foreign press because he lacked the ability to speak Japanese.

It would appear that the Nikkei cannot read English, because it took them a further three weeks to report on a Japanese corporate scandal. The Nikkei is just part of the corporate club that does not rock the boat, unlike that troublesome foreigner Woodford.

I doubt that Nikkei will interfer with the FT's editorial line, but if they do, it will destroy the paper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@wtfjapan

why anybody would invest in newspaper companies is beyond me, there are so many free alternatives on internet, even one Australias richest men, James Packer has sold much of his media empire and put it in casinos. He could see the writing on the wall years ago.

I suspect that this is part of the reason why Pearson sold it in the first place. The trouble is that while there are so many free outlets for this sort of information right now on the internet, for how much longer will that continue?

@GalapagosnoGairaishu

Wonder why Murdoch didn't buy them out.

Why indeed. Murdoch's outlets generally work from inside a paywall already so this would be a reasonably easy merge with his interests. Personally I'm glad; Murdoch has done a lot to promote a certain political agenda that I find myself at odds with which has decimated media both online and offline. Given the whole News of the World/phone tapping scandal in the UK for example, I expect that he is keeping his head down for now! ^_-

Well that and the fact that the dirty digger is too busy pretending to be Merkan.

@albaleo

Perhaps the FT's influence will push things the other way and the Nikkei will reveal that Middlesborough is the world's most exciting city.

Oh yeah! I've heard of that place! According to one show I've seen, its full name is "Middlesborough Nil". Heh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd be apt not to trust the Nikkei group's financial acumen (reporting) when they have made an acquisition in pounds sterling when the yen is hovering around the 195 mark.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Contrary to what some have asserted here, the FT did not "break" (published first) the Olympus scandal story. That was done by a Japanese publication called FACTA run by a former Nihon Keizai Shinbun reporter.

Given that Olympus had been cooking the books for at least 20 years (1991-2011), the fact that the NKS was a few weeks late in getting on the story does not seem terribly significant.

I have checked the NKS coverage (in Japanese) of the Takata air bag issue. As far as I can tell, they were reporting the issue from the beginning. They might not have given it as much attention as US papers because (1) the factories alleged to have produced the defective airbags were in North America (including Mexico); (2) the attributed deaths and recalls initially did not appear to involve Japanese and Japanese market automobiles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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