The Global Economy

Eyeing Profits, Murdoch Drops Likely Best Seller

Media tycoon RUPERT MURDOCH is an ardent supporter of a free press, as long as it doesn't cost him too much. Last week HarperCollins U.K.--a subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corp., which has considerable interests in China--suddenly dumped East and West, a memoir by former Hong Kong Governor CHRIS PATTEN that offers a frank and not always flattering assessment of the Chinese government. Though his editors were enthusiastic and though Patten signed a contract for $200,000, Murdoch took a dimmer view; a News Corp. statement said, "Murdoch did not agree with many of Patten's positions." Even though Macmillan Ltd. eagerly snapped up...

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