Six years after selling to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for $580 million, the once powerful social network MySpace.com is selling for just $35 million to ad-targeting firm, Specific Media.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal was announced Wednesday (June 29), valuing the struggle social network at between $30 million and $40 million, well below the $100 million News Corp. was seeking.
The report says the deal involves considerably more equity for News Corp. than cash, with the company retaining a small stake in the site.
Also on Wednesday, Myspace began laying off more than half of its roughly 500 employees in conjunction with the transaction, a fraction of the 1,400-person staff it had as recently as two years ago.
News Corp. acquired Myspace in 2005 for $580 million, but watched it slowly become obsolete with the rise of Facebook and Twitter. It's revenue peaked at over $900 million in 2008.
"It's a shame that MySpace's value has diminished so severely since the acquisition; MySpace's pioneering of social networking (now referred to as social media) will always be revered as igniting a new medium," Richard Rosenblatt, the chairman of MySpace at the time of the sale to News Corp., told the New York Times.
According to All Things Digital, Specific Media will focus MySpace on music. However, it's unclear if prior music licenses will transfer with the sale.