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News Corp. Increases Middle East Foothold

News Corp. says it will buy a stake in Middle East media group Rotana for $70 million.
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News Corp.

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announced today that it will buy a 9.09% stake in Middle East media group


for $70 million.

In the 18 months after the deal is completed, News Corp. has the option to double its stake, to 18.18%.

Rotana operates one the largest TV networks and ad sales operations in the Middle East, and buying a stake in the company will ostensibly allow News Corp. to strengthen its foothold in the market. The Middle East company has also built a record label in the Middle East, as well as a radio network and digital services. As of the end of last year, News Corp. had total assets of about $56 billion and total annual revenues of approximately $30 billion.

News Corp. stock has risen 0.7% to $13.60, while other media stocks have been trading in mixed directions.

Elsewhere in the media sector,

Time Warner


is 0.6% higher at $29.20 after the company's film studio Warner Bros said it agreed to buy a majority stake in London-based game developer Rocksteady Studios.

Batman: Arkham Asylum,

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is one of Rocksteady's most popular games.


(CBS) - Get CBS Corporation Class B Report

, meanwhile, is slightly lower at $13.30, down 0.2%. CBS recently indicated its interest in working with


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to lower prices on some its shows on iTunes. They are interested in seeing whether the change would trigger an acceleration in video sales. The prices of these videos could be cut to as low as 99 cents from $1.99.

The Walt Disney Company

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is up 0.3% at $31.20.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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