It’s one of the problems of a negotiation where the bargaining phase is drawn out over time that the value of what you are negotiating over can change. If there is a gap between the bargaining phase and the closure phase then the value may go up or down. This can be because of economic factors, changes in personnel, or, as in the case of BSkyB’s potential deal with News Corp, a change in the underlying value of one party or the other.

Normally it’s advisable to get to closure quickly once it looks like there is a deal to be done in principle, for precisely this reason.

It’s difficult to see how this could have been done in the instance of the BSkyB deal though. There was always going to be a big gap before closure was possible because of the need for the competition law issues to be resolved.

Sky’s recent announcement of increased profits and customer numbers (see article here) will inevitably raise the value of the company. The consolation for Murdoch is that as Sky’s value increases so does the value of the percentage of Sky that Newscorp already owns…