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Murdoch buys into education

Digger does schools software

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Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has bought Wireless Generation - a privately-held US schools software provider.

News Corp is paying $360m (£226m) for 90 per cent of the company, which is based in Brooklyn.

Wireless Generation, founded in 2000, makes assessment software for testing kids' progress in key subjects. It has customers in all 50 US states and employs 400 people.

News Corp chairman Murdoch said he saw K through 12 education as a $500bn market in the US alone, "waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching."

Wireless Gen will be run as a subsidiary of News Corp. It will be run by founder and CEO Larry Berger, President and COO Josh Reibel and Chief Product Officer Laurence Holt - between them they keep a 10 per cent share.

In other news, the Church of England has written to Ofcom to oppose Murdoch's proposed takeover of BSkyB - currently run by James Murdoch, Rupert's son.

The Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, told the regulator the takeover would dominate both TV and newspapers in the UK.

He said: "There would always be the potential for the exercise of subtle editorial influence, not least in the process of selecting which news items are to be covered and which left out."

McCulloch warned that the independence of Sky News could be at risk. ®

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