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Google pays $900m to monetize children via MySpace

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The Google crew started huffing air into their colored balls and uncorked a few cases of bubbly today after the company ripped MySpace from Yahoo!'s clutches.

Google will pay the handsome sum of $900m for the rights to supply search and keyword services to MySpace's adolescent army and other Fox Interactive Media properties. The $900m will be spread over three years and come from the broad revenue/search/ad sharing deal, which hinges on Fox supplying a hefty amount of young, supple eyeballs to Google's ad network.

Yahoo! had been pumping MySpace with ads courtesy of its Overture service. The portal, however, has lost a bidding war for MySpace's business that was thought to include Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Fox Interactive, which oversees MySpace for News Corp., also includes web properties such as Foxsports.com, Scout.com and Americanidol.com.

"This agreement demonstrates our commitment to bring the same innovation to monetizing user-generated content that we brought to search advertising," said Omid Kordestani, SVP at Google. "We look forward to other opportunities to partner with News Corp. to the benefit of its community."

MySpace's current deal with Yahoo/Overture expires in sixty days, according to a Fox Interactive spokeswoman. The deal with Google is set to kick in during the first quarter of 2007 and run through the second quarter of 2010.

"Under the terms of the agreement, Google will be obligated to make guaranteed minimum revenue share payments to Fox Interactive Media of $900 million based on Fox achieving certain traffic and other commitments," the companies said.

There's a bubblesque quality to the internet's two most hyped entities hooking up so that they can "monetize user-generated content." But only a cynic would focus on that.

Let's instead celebrate three more years of hammering our kids with ads for SpongeBob SquarePants sports-bras, natural Ritalin options and Jewish wedding singers.®

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