News Corp in $580m Internet buy

News Corp, the company run by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has made one of its first major Internet purchases.

It has bought Intermix Media, owner of, the fifth most-viewed Internet domain in the US and owner of other sites for $580m (£332.85m).

Mr Murdoch says the networking site will drive traffic to his Fox TV sites.

Last week the company set up a new Internet unit. Mr Murdoch has said that newspapers have been slow to respond to competition from the Internet.

Advertising advantage

"With a significant amount of advertising dollars moving from traditional outlets to online, News Corp, like most media companies, is looking to boost its Internet assets," Alan Gould, an analyst at Natexis Bleichroeder, told Reuters.

The US market for Internet advertising is growing at 15% in 2005, according to media buyers Universal McCann. users connect to the site for dating, making friends, professional networking and sharing interests.

Earlier this year, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused Intermix of deceptive business practices, including the use of spyware that delivered pop-up adverts and redirected users to its search engine.

Intermix agreed to pay $7.9m to settle the suit but did not admit wrongdoing.

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