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.

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Comments on “News Corp Buys Into Sketchy Adware (And Some Social Networking)”

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Doug Sherrets (user link) says:

Re: Re: hardly Murdoch's intent

I do not see News Corp keeping the adaware properties. Given News Corp really cares about the network, what I am more interested in is how they will leverage its media properties on the site. Certainly American Idol comes to mind as a great cross-promotion. MySpace had set it up a new medium for media companies to advertise to its young demographic; instead of having to test that, which would have meant potentially spending a couple years to get media companies to buy into the model and believe in the metrics that would show results from such advertising (perhaps the number of members that have added a show’s star as a friend), Fox’s acquisition of MySpace has accelerated the value mining of social networks. This bodes well for other popular social networks because Fox will be able stretch their collective imagination to take advantage of the social network, without concern for paying MySpace as Fox figures out using a bit of trial and error what works best.

Alan MadLeese says:

MySpace in for ana elbow

My name is Al MacLeese and I am a retired newspaperman living in Maine, and collaborating with a college journalism student in California, a blogger to boot, and we have investigated and then informed various parts ofthe web about one of the biggest biz scandals to come down the pike lately —- the dirty big secret that two disgraced West Coast shady businessmen, one relaatively fresh from a federal pen in Oregon, this pair and their wives secretly bought and then disposed of Intermix, and its bastard child and MySpace, in a hurried fire sale to Murdoch that involved insider trading and asssorted other wrongs, legal, moral and one would suppose ethical. The persons of interest here? They are Clarence B. (Uncle Bud) Gates and his wife Joan, San Leandro, Calif., and Andrew Alan Wiederhorn, Portland merchant prince, and his wife Tiffany, and there are the power and the glory behind a storefront with a couple of cqbin boys and when bustout time came it’s everyone for himseolf, the storefront must clolse, and I suspect the cabin boys will be left holding — or in — the bag. Go to Catbird Forum in Elephant Nest and/or real all Trent Lapinski’s reports of MySpace, which was not built in a garage. almacleese halllowell maine where life is like it ought to be.

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