Time Warner last night changed its company bylaws to make it more difficult for 21st Century Fox to pressure the firm into a takeover.
The media giant has axed for one year a rule allowing shareholders holding at least 15 per cent of its shares to call a special meeting – a measure that could have been used by Rupert Murdoch’s firm to force investors to meet to discuss its desire to buy the firm.
Fox made an unsuccessful $80bn offer for Time Warner, owner of Warner Bros film studio and TV channel HBO, last month.
Time Warner investors said last week that Murdoch might have to raise his $85-a-share bid to as much as $95 a share and boost its cash component to complete a takeover of the group.
Meanwhile, chief executive Jeff Bewkes could be in line for more than $79m (£46.3m) in bonuses if Fox’s takeover of the business goes ahead. Bewkes’ so-called parachute payment is described in the company’s annual filings and depends on the firm’s share price.