RealTime IT News

News Corp. Acquires Intermix Media

News Corp. is acquiring Intermix Media for approximately $580 million. News Corp. said the acquisition will nearly double its Web traffic to more than 45 million unique monthly visitors.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Perhaps Intermix best known property is MySpace.com, a social networking site, which is the fifth-ranked Web domain in terms of page views, according to comScore Media Metrix. MySpace integrates profiles, blogs, instant messaging, e-mail, music downloads, photo galleries, classified listings, events, groups, chat rooms and user forums.

Last month, the Los Angeles-based Intermix paid $7.5 million to settle charges with the state of New York that the company secretly installed spyware on end users computers.

In a related deal, News Corp. announced that it entered into a voting agreement with VantagePoint Venture Partners, the largest stockholder of Intermix.

The agreement provides that VantagePoint will vote its shares, representing approximately 22.4 percent of the outstanding shares of Intermix, in favor of the transaction.

Intermix also announced that it exercised its option to acquire the 47 percent of MySpace.com that it does not already own. Combined with MySpace.com, the Intermix network of more than 30 sites is the largest multi-category online entertainment network with more than 27 million unique monthly users.

The entire Intermix set of sites will become part of News Corp.'s newly formed Fox Interactive Media unit announced Friday. The new business unit will manage interactive assets from Fox Divisions, including foxsports.com, foxnews.com and fox.com, as well as the Web sites of Fox owned and operated TV stations.

"Intermix is an important acquisition for News Corp., instantly doubling the number of visitors to our sites and providing an ideal foundation on which to meaningfully increase our Internet presence," News Corp.'s Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.

"Intermix brands, such as MySpace.com, are some of the Web's hottest properties and resonate with the same audiences that are most attracted to Fox's news, sports and entertainment offerings."

In June, MySpace.com served more than eight percent of all ads on the Internet, putting it in the company of Yahoo, Google and AOL. It has also become a popular music destination, with more than 350,000 bands and artists using the site to launch new albums and allow users to sample and share songs.

Intermix CEO Richard Rosenblatt and MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe will continue in their roles following the completion of the acquisition. Rosenblatt and DeWolfe will join Fox Interactive Media.