Magazine article Marketing

Murdoch Is Late into the Internet but Knows the Worth of the Web

Magazine article Marketing

Murdoch Is Late into the Internet but Knows the Worth of the Web

Article excerpt

Rupert Murdoch is happy to admit privately that maybe he has been a year or two late with his big internet initiative. News Corp's existing media businesses have, of course, got their web sites and the arrival of CurrantBun.com could be significant in driving internet penetration in the UK. But media companies have tended to concentrate on defending their positions rather than thinking laterally about the opportunities to challenge the dominance of existing players in other areas, such as financial services.

He may have been late but it is difficult to overestimate the significance of News Corp's tie-up with Softbank of Japan, announced last week. Through his e-partners internet venture, Murdoch, the international media tycoon, has now got a stake in E-Loan, an internet broking service. The investment follows a recent deal with WR Hambrecht, a company that offers banking services on the internet. Two deals in a month and more on the way demonstrates the falseness of the conspiracy theory that e-partners was just a fig leaf to cover the exit of Mark Booth from BSkyB.

As he realises just how great the e-partners opportunities could be, Booth's smile is getting wider. The most significant factor in all of this, however, is the coming together of Murdoch and Booth with Masayoshi Son, the US-educated Japanese founder of Softbank.

Son is not a well-known name in Europe. It soon will be. Son is the sort of man who tells you that he has just become the richest man in Japan with personal wealth of $10bn ([pounds]6. …

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