Tencent, De Wolfe among interested buyers for Myspace
Chinese Internet holding company Tencent, Myspace founder Chris De Wolfe and Myspace’s current management team are among the 20 odd names kicking the tires at the once might social network to see whether it’s worth buying outright or partnering in some sort of spin-out with current owner News Corp.
Tencent has previously said it is interested in possible US acquisitions.
The names come up in Reuters’ Special Report on ‘How News Corp got lost in Myspace‘, a behind the scenes tale on how the focused Facebook beat the partying Myspace. (We have the story in a handy PDF format here)
In the story, we highlight some of the key problems Myspace faced, some well-known and some not often mentioned:
– It was built on a poor technology base which couldn’t keep up with the fast-evolving Web 2.0 environment
– The $900 mln Google search advertising deal put a lot of limits on what executives could do to improve the site
– There was a lot of political in-fighting between Myspace management and their Fox Interactive overseers
– They struggled in getting the best tech personnel because they were in Los Angeles rather than Silicon Valley
AllThingsD reported earlier that the sales process kicked off in earnest yesterday and News Corp has already had some conversations with the owners of Vevo, the online music video joint venture from Universal Music, Sony Music and the Abu Dhabi Group.
*A couple of points to clarify from our special report. Jason Hirschhorn’s job title, when he was brought on by Rupert Murdoch and Owen Van Natta, was chief product officer and strategy was a part of his role rather than his main role. Also Hirschhorn, who along with Nick Lehman ‘discovered’ Myspace for MTV, was not a negotiator for the parent company Viacom in its bid to buy Myspace.