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News Corp. may partner on MySpace

HOWDY, PODNER: The lack of a MySpace bidder willing to come in and sweep it away at a high price has increased the odds that News Corp. will keep a stake in the struggling site, according to the Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by News Corp. Many bids have come in significantly lower than the $100 million the parent company was seeking, people familiar with the matter told the paper. News Corp. paid $580 million for MySpace in 2005. At least two firms that were weighing a bid—Thomas H. Lee Partners in a partnership with Redscout Ventures and Criterion Capital Partners—are no longer considered serious contenders. One bidder was surprised by the money News Corp.'s digital media unit, of which MySpace is the largest, was still spending, according to a source. Among the expenses: $60k a month for parking and $800k a month on lawyers' fees. (6/6a)

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