Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation chairman, and Sol Trujillo, chief executive of Telstra, Australia?s dominant telecoms company, have held lengthy talks to discuss ?how the two companies can work together? in the internet age.
The meeting, which lasted several hours, is said to have been ?very cordial? with aides predicting follow-up discussions. It is the first time Australian-born Mr Murdoch has met US-born Mr Trujillo, a telecoms industry veteran who took over at Telstra in July.
One person close to the talks said: ?It was a get-to-know-you meeting. They have been trying to meet for a while.?
The meeting, in Sydney on Sunday, followed last week?s announcement by Mr Trujillo that Telstra would invest A$10bn (US$7.4bn) over five years on a broadband network to redirect the company?s business towards faster-growing services.
Mr Murdoch was in Australia last week to attend a News Corp shareholder information meeting, and met Mr Trujillo before heading back to the US.
The pair discussed the future of Foxtel, Australia?s dominant pay-TV platform in which Telstra has a 50 per cent stake and News Corp 25 per cent. Mr Trujillo has said he is keen for Foxtel to take advantage of technology to increase its market penetration.
However, both companies declined to give details of the outcome of the talks or what else was discussed.
Analysts believe they would likely have touched on the implications of Telstra?s announcement last week that it would launch a movie download service for broadband subscribers.
One analyst said: ?The boundaries are being blurred so much it is hard to know what the opportunities are and for whom. Telstra needs movie content for its download services but, then again, Murdoch might be concerned that it could become a rival to Foxtel?s own movie services.?
Telstra recently became a broadcaster in its own right, after acquiring a variety of sports rights including Australia?s popular V8 racing series. In recent months News Corp has spent US$1bn acquiring internet-related assets.