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Yahoo! and News Corp to merge?

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Could Yahoo! be about to hop into bed with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire? The New York Times (NYT) thinks there could be mileage in the story. The paper is a little light on details, but quotes what it describes as "News Corporation executives close to the talks" giving credence to the rumours. Those rumours seem to have been given life by the New Yorker magazine. But, despite a lack of anything remotely like hard evidence to suggest it will happen, such an agreement makes a good deal of sense. In the wake of the much talked about AOL/Time Warner merger, both Yahoo! and News Corp will be looking to buddy-up with someone pronto. Murdoch is on the lookout for Net business opportunities, this is well known, and the likes of Yahoo! would be obvious ports of call when it comes to finding the link between content and how to get it in front of people. The NYT reckons any such deal between the two media giants would see a crossover between Yahoo!'s portal activities and two of News Corp's biggest paper titles – the New York Post and the UK Times. The unnamed News Corp exec (or execs) that appear to be the source of the story said, we are told, that News Corp had held meetings with Yahoo! and other Net-related companies. But could it be that someone somewhere is putting two and two together in the hope of hitting upon a mega-merger news story? Could be. One of the illuminating quotes from the Deep Throat News Corp sources in the NYT story was: '"There is no agreement near with anybody," the executive said. "Nothing has been nailed down."' So, while a deal could be on the cards, it might be wise not to hold your breath. In January 1999, Rupert Murdoch spoke out against the rise of new media and said: "We certainly won't be making take-overs of large, or already overcapitalised companies." ® Related Stories Murdoch gang rejigs Net offering Murdoch loves Web. True News Corp mogul talks down the Web

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