NEW YORK – News Corp. (NWS), the media conglomerate headed by Rupert Murdoch, said Thursday it will buy Internet company IGN Entertainment Inc. (search) for about $650 million in cash.
San Francisco-based IGN and its network of sites, most devoted to video games, will become part of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media unit.
News Corp. is the parent company of the Fox News Channel, which operates FOXNews.com
This deal marks News Corp.'s third Internet-related acquisition in recent months. The company is in the process of closing its purchases of Intermix, operator of the MySpace.com (search) social-networking site, and college-sports company Scout Media.
With the addition of IGN, Intermix and Scout Media to existing Fox-branded sites, News Corp. said its U.S. Web traffic will increase to nearly 70 million unique monthly users and more than 12 billion page impressions per month.
IGN's major properties include IGN.com, GameSpy, GameSpy Arena, FilePlanet, TeamXbox, 3D Gamers, Direct2Drive, GameStats.com and a number of Web sites within the Vault and Planet networks. IGN also owns and operates two entertainment Web properties focused on movie-related content — IGN FilmForce and Rotten Tomatoes — and a male lifestyle site, AskMen.com. It also provides technology for online game play in video games.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2005, subject to regulatory approvals. IGN's chief executive officer, Mark Jung, will continue in his role following the acquisition.