News Corp Buys Into Sketchy Adware (And Some Social Networking)
from the sneaky,-sneaky dept
Intermix has been one of the sneakier adware companies out there. Earlier this year, when they were sued over surreptitious installs, the company responded by ignoring what they were actually charged with and responding by saying they didn’t actually spy on anyone. We were a bit surprised that the company then seemed to “wise up” and settle the lawsuit last month, but the reasoning is becoming much clearer today. News Corp. has announced that they’re buying Intermix for $580 million — which is quite interesting following the (now over) rumors that Microsoft was interested in buying Claria for $500 million. Intermix, in some ways, probably has a worse reputation than Claria — though mostly from back when it was called eUniverse. It seemed like a startup that just moved from scam to scam to scam. However, this deal might not be about the adware. What we didn’t realize was that Intermix owned more than half of super popular social networking offering MySpace. As part of this deal, Intermix is buying out the remaining 47% they don’t own, and including it as part of the deal. So, hopefully, the plan is for News Corp to drop the slimy adware, and focus on the successful social networking/blogging site (though, again, you can question that business model as well). Still, though, it seems pretty unfortunate to reward a company with such a bad history and reputation. Update: Somehow some are spinning this story to suggest that Rupert Murdoch gets the internet, combined with his comments a few months ago. If getting the internet involves sneaky installs on adware, then Murdoch has some more learning to do. Again, whether or not this is a smart acquisition may come down to what News Corp. does with the adware component of the business.