Listening in to the Rupert Murdoch webcast from the Bear Stearns Media Conference going on this week in Florida ...
Yahoo-MSFT: Behind the scenes, News Corp (NYSE: NWS). and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) have had serious discussions about a deal that would involve MySpace and NWS other assets. The public statement: "We're not going to get into a fight with Microsoft; they've got a lot more money than us." He went through a history lesson about how Yahoo missed out by buying Overture and then failing to invest in it for two years. Yahoo missed out, he said, "because they came to too many meetings like this" where they had to defend their balance sheet. But Murdoch also made it quite clear where his sentiments lie: "We're very happy to be in the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) camp; they sell our search advertising and pay us well for it."
M&A: Speaking of deals, Murdoch said the company isn't looking for big acquisitions and is more likely to invest in creating, not buying. "We think everything is going to get cheaper ... it's conceivable we'll be tempted into some small things." He added later that the VCs "are bringing us all the time things from Silicon Valley ... all with stupid prices on them. ... We're pretty cautious, sometimes too cautious ... [but] it's very easy to throw away a lot of money on internet sites."
Getting social at WSJ.com: During the section on MySpace, Murdoch talked about traditional sites adding social media. "We may try to do something even to the Wall Street Journal site." He explained that "there are a lot of people there, not just investors, ... they'll be interested to talk to each other about their investments."
By Staci D. Kramer