News Corp. Expands Net Presence

A deal to buy IGN adds to previous Intermix and Scout buys.
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News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

continued its new media push Thursday with a $650 million agreement to buy closely held

IGN Entertainment

.

IGN will become part of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media unit. The deal comes on the heels of July's

$580 million agreement to acquire the MySpace.com operator

InterMix

(MIX)

.

"The acquisition of IGN underscores News Corp.'s commitment to expand its Internet presence by offering a deeper, richer online experience for its millions of passionate users," News Corp. said. It said the addition of IGN, Intermix and Scout Media to the existing Fox-branded sites will increase to nearly 70 million its unique monthly unique user count.

"With the acquisition of IGN and its 28 million unique users, we have gone a long way toward achieving two of our key strategic objectives in our efforts to become a leading and profitable Internet presence," CEO Rupert Murdoch said. "First, we have significantly enhanced our online reach, strengthening our position as the fifth-most-trafficked presence on the Web. We also become the fourth-largest network in terms of monthly page impressions. And second, we have furthered our strategy to leverage the unique competencies the company enjoys with its news, sports and entertainment assets to create a leading internet destination."

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. On Thursday, News Corp. fell 7 cents to $17.25.