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Fox Interactive Media inks $900 million deal with Google

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MUMBAI: News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media and Google Inc. have inked a multi-year search technology and services agreement whereby Google will be the exclusive search and keyword targeted advertising sales provider for Fox Interactive Media’s growing network of web properties including MySpace.com.

Under the terms of the agreement, Google will be obligated to make guaranteed minimum revenue share payments to Fox Interactive Media of $900 million based on Fox achieving certain traffic and other commitments. These guaranteed minimum revenue share payments are expected to be made over the period beginning in the first quarter of 2007 and ending in the second quarter of 2010.

The agreement calls for Google to power web, vertical and site specific search for MySpace.com and the majority of Fox Interactive Media properties. Google will be the exclusive provider of text-based advertising and keyword targeted ads through its AdSense program, for inventory on Fox Interactive Media’s network. Google will also have a right of first refusal on display advertising sold through third parties on Fox Interactive Media’s network.

The integration of Google’s services including consistent search navigation across Fox Interactive Media’s network of properties is slated to begin in the fourth quarter 2006 and will provide users with access to Google’s industry leading search capabilities as well as text and display advertising from its global advertiser base.

"Our partnership with Google underscores News Corp’s continued evolution to become a powerful force in the digital media marketplace. To have come this far and gained this much momentum in just over a year is truly remarkable. This is an exciting time in our history as a forward thinking media company and this is just the first of many steps we plan to take with Google. We look forward to expanding our relationship into many new areas over years to come," said News Corporation president and COO Peter Chernin.

"We believe that our innovative technologies will be of real benefit to Fox Interactive Media’s growing number of users. MySpace.com is a widely acknowledged leader in user-generated content and incorporating search and advertising furthers our mission of making the world's information universally accessible and useful," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

"This deal is the next step in our evolution as a significant interactive player. Forming a strategic partnership with one of the most innovative companies in the world to expand our business together, monetize our platforms effectively and leverage our combined scale will provide substantial growth for our businesses," said Fox Interactive Media president Ross Levinsohn.

"This agreement demonstrates our commitment to bring the same innovation to monetizing user-generated content that we brought to search advertising. We look forward to other opportunities to partner with News Corp. to the benefit of its community," said Google senior vice president, global sales and business development Omid Kordestani.

In addition to MySpace.com, Fox Interactive Media properties that will benefit from the Google integration include online videogame and entertainment site IGN, pro sports network Scout.com, site for movie lovers Rottentomatoes.com, men’s lifestyle site AskMen.com; as well as Gamespy.com, Gamespyarcade.com, Fileplanet.com, Direct2drive.com, Teamxbox.com, 3dgamers.com, Gamestat.com, Cheatscodesguides.com and Gamermetrics.com.

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