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Murdoch Facebook gloat: You're like my $580m, 'CRAPPY' MySpace

Billionaire media tyrant has a Ratner moment

Rupert Murdoch had a Gerald Ratner moment on Twitter earlier today when, in a warning to Facebook, he labelled MySpace - a website he once owned - as "crappy".

The media tycoon, who bought MySpace in 2005 for $580m and then copped a $254m loss when he sold the drain-circling website six years later, was responding to reports that suggest Facebook users are peeling away from the free-content advertising website.

"Look out Facebook!" Murdoch warned. "Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago."

His comments came as Facebook approached its first anniversary as a publicly quoted company: co-founder Mark Zuckerberg floated the ad firm on Wall Street in May 2012.

Since its IPO, when Facebook debuted with a capital price tag of more than $100bn, the network has watched its stock plummet. It hit an all-time low in September before settling into a valuation roughly around the $65bn mark.

Shares in Facebook are currently trading at $26, far short of its $38 market debut last year.

Inevitably, Murdoch couldn't resist putting the boot in. But his comment was surprisingly blunt about Facebook's one-time rival MySpace. The News Corp boss arguably had a bit of a Gerald Ratner moment.

Businessman Ratner, eponymous owner of a chain of high street jewellery shops in the UK, famously admitted in 1991 that his outlets sold "total crap".

Unlike Ratner, though, Murdoch didn't seem all that bothered about publicly labelling MySpace as "crappy". He has previously confessed that his decision to buy MySpace in 2005 was a "huge mistake". ®

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