June 30, 2011

News Corp offloads MySpace and takes BSkyB on board

by Jan Harris

Rupert Murdoch’s media giant, News Corp, has agreed to sell social networking site MySpace to digital content specialist Specific Media for just $35m.

News Corp acquired the ailing site for $580m in 2005 but it has floundered in recent year in the face of competition from Facebook.

Specific Media now plans to take MySpace back to its roots, by once again making it a place to listen to music and meet celebrities, as well as to consumer other digital content and network with friends.

Building on this strategy, pop singer Justin Timberlake has invested an undisclosed amount in the company.

Specific Media plans to integrate its advertising operations into MySpace, taking advantage of both its increased focus on music and video, and its social networking operations.

While News Corp has been busy offloading MySpace, it has also finally won UK government approval for its £9.3bn takeover of BSkyB.

However it will have to sell Sky News as part of the deal, in order to allay competition concerns.

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