Everyone has thought this and many have tried it. Indeed, the second half of the 1980s has seen the arrival of big firms of European, Japanese and Australian provenance on the American scene. Maxwell himself launched no less than three fabulous public takeover bids-two of them shortlived-for three major publishers, and finally carried off Macmillan. The German Bertelsmann has taken over the publisher Doubleday and the record company RCA-Ariola. The Japanese company Sony made a successful bid for the prestigious CBS Records, and has since acquired the Hollywood film company Columbia. The foremost French publisher, the Hachette group, has purchased shares in Grolier (world number one in encyclopaedias) and the magazine publisher Diamandis. As for the Australian Rupert Murdoch, proprietor of News Corporation, he is so convinced that the United States represent the obligatory step in building up a multimedia conglomerate of global vocation that he swapped his own nationality for that of his new properties Twentieth Century Fox and TV Guide. The American reply to this foreign offensive was not long in coming: in 1989, the rapprochement between Time-Warner Communications and the reorientation towards communications of the conglomerate Gulf & Western, owner of Paramount Pictures and the publisher Simon & Schuster, sparked off manoeuvres aimed at a restructuring of the publishing and entertainments industry in the threatened fiefdom.