Despite his denial of the beginning of the month, Rupert Murdoch has therefore step closed the door to an alliance with Yahoo!, desperately seeking a White Knight for preempting the OPA of software giant Microsoft ("Les Echos" of 14 February). Through MySpace, the largest global social network, in exchange for a 20 stake in the capital of Yahoo!, the most visited portal in the world, the pattern of News Corp. would increase speed in its strategy of conquest of the Internet.
The media magnate (20th Century Fox, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, BSkyB, the "Times", etc.) had already tried the ground last summer, but Yahoo! declined his offer to the ambitions of valorisation of MySpace: more than 11 billion dollars for a young company Internet purchased two years ago by News Corp. for $ 580 million! But, today, Murdoch is more than 6 to 10 billion dollars because MySpace is losing speed, like Yahoo!. And the Australian-American billionaire faces a strategic challenge for the future: to migrate his empire of newspapers, film studios and channels of Internet TV, announced as "the" great media converge in the 21st century. If the MySpace social network is not the sole property of Fox Interactive Media (FIM, the digital division of News Corp.), it is the cornerstone.
Lack of advertising effectiveness
According to ComScore, MySpace was 85 of the traffic of assets Internet of Murdoch (the site of video games IGN, Photobucket and Flextor photo services, sites of criticism of movie Rotten Tomatoes, AmericanIdol and the sites of sports Fox Sports and Whatifsports) last December.
But MySpace has reached a plateau. While the global audience of the social network is stagnant over the 100 million unique visitors (107 million last December, according to comScore), Facebook catches up with his delay in great not (97.7 million unique visitors in December 2007, always according to comScore). Analysts point out the Visual chaos of its pages, the questionable content of certain pages of its members and, especially, its lack of Facebook advertising effectiveness.
With 233 million in revenues in the last quarter, Fox Interactive represents less than 3 of the turnover of News Corp. For Rupert Murdoch, the temptation may be great to hand over 20 of the capital of Yahoo!... pending better. According to sources close to the negotiations referred to by the Wall Street Journal, the operation cost him $ 15 billion on the basis of a valuation of Yahoo! 50 billion (compared with 44.6 billion offer from Microsoft). But the Tycoon has never hesitated to get out his Chequebook to achieve its ends as evidenced by the $ 5 billion it has put on the table year last afford the "Wall Street Journal". And the game may argue the candle: with 136,6 million unique visitors in last December, Yahoo! still surpasses a short head Google (132.9 million). A huge hearing that News Corp. would be not content and advertisers.
In the mouth of the Wolf
With MySpace, Yahoo! finally compensate the failure of his attempt to purchase of Facebook in 2006. The firm of Jerry Yang is would also gain a potential influx of hearing likely to restore the initiative to the number one Internet Google all of its applications and content channels. But to escape the claws of Microsoft, Yahoo! may well throw in the mouth of the Wolf: when he put a foot in place, Rupert Murdoch is never minority very long...