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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News Corp. Talks

Global media company News Corp. held preliminary and informal talks with Gazprom about acquiring a stake in Vladimir Gusinsky’s Media-MOST holding, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing unnamed sources.

Officials at Gazprom and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. have refused to say whether there have been any talks. Last week, Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev said only that he had had talks with a European media holding.

Media-MOST is in a dispute with the state-controlled gas giant over a $473 million debt. Media-MOST lawyer Pavel Astakhov told Ekho Moskvy radio Monday that they could reach a peaceful agreement before the first court hearing, set for Nov. 3.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prosecutor General Vasily Kholmogorov said Monday that Gusinsky, who left the country, will be called for more questioning in the dispute. Kholmogorov said he also wanted to question Gusinsky about his claim that he had been forced to sign an agreement transferring control of Media-MOST to a Gazprom subsidiary in July under duress.