News Corp. Gets in Roo’s Pocket

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!

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