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Murdoch loves Web. True

What made him change his mind?

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Wasn't he supposed to be on honeymoon? The inexhaustible Rupert Murdoch is flogging mortgages over the Net, courtesy of a $22 million stake in a US-based online provider. He's stumping up the dosh through a joint venture between Epartners, his new Web investment vehicle, and Softbank, the hyperactive Japanese VCs-to-PCs conglomerate. What a difference six months makes. At the start of the year, Murdoch dismissed the hype and inflated valuations surrounding Net companies such as Yahoo! And AOL. There was no need to rush into the Internet economy, he said at the time Now our favourite media baron says: "My point was that traditional business models would be challenged and sometime destroyed. We are moving from an old model economy to a new world which is coming on us with lightning speed." "The world is changing very fast," he observed. "Big will not beat small anymore, it will be fast beating slow." What the company learns through the new venture will be applied to NewsCorp as a whole, he said, adding That the majority of NewsCorp's will Internet-related, in the future. ®

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