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MySpace Users: Media Consolidation Alert - Beware!

Reported by Melanie - July 19, 2005

Yesterday it was announced that Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and its parent company, News Corp., has purchased the Internet company, Intermix Media, the owner of MySpace.com. MySpace.com is a rapidly growing Internet site, the sixth most-viewed, behind Yahoo, eBay, MSN, Google and AOL.

In April of this year Murdoch gave a speech at a gathering of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in which he spoke about the drop in newspaper readership, and the surge in Internet usage.

Murdoch said then:

So unless we awaken to these changes, which are quite different to those of 5 or 6 years ago, we will, as an industry, be relegated to the status of also-rans. But, properly done, they are an opportunity to actually improve our journalism and expand our reach.

He also said, about creating Fox:

We sensed that there was another way we could deliver that news - objectively, fairly, and faster-paced. And the result was the Fox News Channel, today America's number one cable news network.

Comment: I don't know how expanding his Internet presence translates into improving News Corp.'s journalism, but it will greatly expand its reach. Additionally, if Murdoch truly believes Fox News' content is "objective" and "fair," this acquisition could have serious implications for MySpace users.

Many months ago, a commenter to this site complained that, all of a sudden, one of her favorite television programs disappeared from DirectTV. I believe it was a financial show that competed with Fox's Your World w/Neil Cavuto. I told the commenter that Rupert Murdoch had recently purchased DirectTV, and we surmised that the show may have been removed from DirectTV's line-up to protect Fox's programming. Similar things may begin happen to MySpace users. For example, I can easily imagine this site being blocked by MySpace.

Additionally, if you live in New York City, for example, and you read the New York Post, you subscribe to DirectTV, and you are a MySpace customer, all your media content is now owned and controlled by Rupert Murdoch. Think about that for a minute.

MySpace users should also know about this (as contained in the article linked to above):

Intermix gained attention earlier this year when the New York attorney general's office filed a lawsuit accusing it of illegally planting spyware programs on the computers of people who visited its Web sites.

The company has since announced a preliminary settlement of $7.5 million.

Good luck MySpace users. Try to keep in touch.

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