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 Home > News > General Computing > Murdoch...
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Monday, August 15, 2005
Murdoch casts his net over online search


News Corp is in talks to buy a stake in an unnamed search engine as part of its plan to create a major portal and expand on the internet.

This is what chief executive Rupert Murdoch said this week.

"We are in advanced negotiations to buy a controlling interest in what we think is a wonderful search engine" but that has an "insignificant price", Murdoch said during a profits conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

The company is embarking on a major expansion on the internet aimed at coalescing its online properties around a main portal based on the assets of Fox Interactive Media, he said. Of the internet expansion, Murdoch said: "There is no greater priority for the company today."

News Corp has planned to spend about $2bn on internet acquisitions, including the $580m it agreed to pay to buy Intermix Media, which owns MySpace.com, and $60m it is paying for sports website owner Scout Media, according to Murdoch.

Murdoch said he doesn't see the future News Corp portal competing much with search giant Google, and that it's more likely to compete with Yahoo!, although he added: "I don't see why we can't live side by side with them."

AOL is also in the process of reinventing itself as a free portal, opening up its Time Warner content that was previously walled off to subscribers and banking on the surging demand for broadband access.

A News Corp spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Friday.

On Wednesday, the company beat analyst estimates by posting fourth-quarter profit of 23 cents per share and revenue of $6.1bn.


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