News Corp named as latest Yahoo suitor

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News Corp has become the latest to have its name added to the list of companies reportedly trying to acquire Yahoo..

Multiple sources claim that Yahoo is in talks with Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate on a deal that would help stave off an acquisition bid by Microsoft.

Reports in The Wall Street Journal suggest that News Corp would take a 20 per cent stake in Yahoo in exchange for control of MySpace. News Corp purchased MySpace in 2005 for US$580 million.

Greg Sterling, founder of analyst firm Sterling Market Intelligence, said in a blog posting that the deal would greatly increase Yahoo's clout with advertisers.

"Yahoo would get massive page views and traffic, and could serve display ads, " he said. "This would add to Yahoo's existing CPM/display leadership."

The News Corp talks are the latest in a series of negotiations Yahoo has apparently undertaken in an effort to fend off Microsoft.

Google was among those named in the saga, reportedly looking to acquire Yahoo's search business. A rehash of a merger with AOL was also reportedly considered.

Microsoft first made its proposal on 1 February, offering a US$44 billion stock and cash package. Dips in Microsoft's stock price have since dropped the value of the package to US$42 billion.

Industry analysts said that, despite Yahoo's best efforts, an acquisition deal with Microsoft is all but assured at this point.

"A Microsoft acquisition is still the highest probability, although [the News Corp deal] represents a potential alternative," said Sterling.
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