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Summary:

If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is ready to buy up as much as 10 percent of online video technology provider Roo Group, in a deal that may amount to as much as $12 million, according to the story […]

If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is ready to buy up as much as 10 percent of online video technology provider Roo Group, in a deal that may amount to as much as $12 million, according to the story in Monday’s WSJ.

roologo.jpgRoo, which last week snapped up a smaller fish of its own, has about 130 people in its three main offices in New York, London and Australia. Though it’s g’day name has an Aussie flavor, Roo is headquartered in New York, said CEO Rob Petty in an interview last week. Its hosted-video application, which competes with offerings from Brightcove and others, is “a large enterprise application, best suited to big media companies,” Petty said.

While Roo already powers the online video for a number of News Corp. publications, including FoxNews.com (where if you hurry, you can catch the latest teen girl beating video), a News Corp. exec told the Journal that News Corp. properties wouldn’t be forced to use the Roo technology. For now.

Fun geeky stock stuff after the jump!

News Corp., like other investors in the over-the-counter public entity Roo, might want to heed a warning from the company’s prospectus, where you can learn that Roo has had a history of losses (including more than $6 million in net operating losses during 2005), and that the company was formed through a curious merger with a firm called Virilitec Industries, originally formated to “license and distribute a line of bioengineered virility nutritional supplements designed to enhance human male sperm count and potency.”

Anyway, the warning from the prospectus: OUR COMPETITORS MAY BE LARGER AND HAVE GREATER FINANCIAL AND OTHER RESOURCES THAN WE DO AND THOSE ADVANTAGES COULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR US TO COMPETE WITH THEM. ’nuff said!

  1. Hi Paul,

    We just wanted to extend sincere thanks for interviewing Rob last week and for today’s coverage of our deal with News Corp. on your blog today. We would, however, also like to note that the line that you pulled from our prospectus to end your story with is actually a standard line that appears in many, if not most, company prospectuses.

    As you know from speaking with Rob, we’ve had an incredible run of late: we’ve signed a number of content and syndication deals with leading companies and we will be making additional announcements in the next few weeks. We believe that the next six months will be critical—and exciting—for all the players in the online video space and will be marked by consolidation and M&A’s in this highly competitive market. We also believe that current conditions favor the prospects of the few companies with niche offerings and specific areas of expertise, such as providing B2B services to enterprise companies and large media organizations, which is where ROO excels. We are very excited about our deal with News Corp. as it validates our vision of the industry and our status as the premier provider of online video strategies to enterprise companies and media organizations. Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have additional questions.

    All the best,

    Melinda Klaber
    Vice President, Marketing
    ROO

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  2. Paul Kapustka Monday, January 29, 2007

    But what about the Virilitec deal? “Any more color on that one,” as the analysts say?

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  3. […] If the deal does close, then it would be the second deal by News Corp.,-Fox Interactive this year. Earlier today, News Corp., took a 10 percent stake in a company called Roo Group; a fact that apparently wasn’t known to the FIM Group, up until this morning, when the Wall Street Journal reported the story. […]

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  5. […] Coming through on their promise to provide more color, the folks from Roo Media called today to let CEO Rob Petty give some more explanation to the company’s recent investment deal with News Corp., and hinted that another similar deal with another large media company is coming soon, perhaps as soon as Thursday. […]

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