This saga still has some way to go and illustrates how important it is to retain your integrity when you negotiate. If you lose your reputation as someone who can be trusted you lose all your authority as a negotiator – and authority is one of the major sources of bargaining power.

News International has fallen below even the minimal standards of trust expected of journalists these days, with its hacking of innocent victims’ phones, including Milly Dowler’s. The resulting fall-out among the public, media and politicians, has removed all of Rupert Murdoch’s bargaining power in the negotiation regarding the takeover of Sky.

In these circumstances it is no surprise to see Murdoch engaging in “parting” behaviour, and withdrawing from the negotiation. In the circumstances it is the only sensible option to avoid a comprehensive negotiating defeat – withdraw, re-group and try again when and if enough time has elapsed that trust has been re-earned and the climate has improved. It may take some time.