Blog Post

Goldman Sachs: Virtual Lunch With Rupert

I need to go back to the recording for some details but here are some first impressions of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch’s lunch q-and-a at Goldman Sachs’ investors conference:

— The company has yet to decide whether to buy or lease certain technologies like search and VoIP but they will have both within weeks.

— The company also has yet to decide whether to create a single portal or global brand.

— Said his colleagues at other companies are dissembling “to use a polite word” when they say they weren’t wiling to spend as much as FIM did on MySpace. On IGN, he said, “we nearly lost it and came in with a pre-emptive offer, $50 million more than Viacom.” He rejected the idea that FIM overpaid for the gaming company. In the scheme of things, the extra $50 million wasn’t going to matter. The deal is either a mistake or “wildly cheap.”

— Ross Levinsohn and his FIM team have a lot to live up to with Murdoch saying “the sky’s the limit” for internet revenes and that within five years “certainly, we’re talking about revenues of $500 million, within that range.”

— Says he shouldn’t be held hard and fast to the $2 billion initial internet investment budget. “You don’t know what’s around the corner; I certainly wouldn’t have spent $4 billion on Skype.” He said News Corp. courted Skype and was willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. he also said he things free voice will be ubiquitous in 10 years.

— As indicated by its IGN acquisition, News Corp. sees potential in gaming but Murdoch has no interest in acquiring Electronic Arts.