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News Corp. wants shot of MySpace

MySpace owner News Corporation has confirmed that it's looking to get rid of the company, just one day after it announced lay-offs for almost half it staff as it fails to compete against record-breaking social networking service Facebook.

Word of the plans comes direct from Mike Jones, chief executive at MySpace, who called the company together for a meeting to discuss how News Corp. might rid itself of the social networking albatross.

The meeting, and its topic, was confirmed by spokesperson Rosabel Tao, who told Bloomberg: "News Corp. is assessing a number of possibilities including a sale, a merger and a spinout. The process has just started."

While a sale would solve the company's immediate problems, it's unlikely that News Corp. would end up making a profit on the deal after paying £360 million for the firm back in 2005 at the height of the social networking craze when it appeared that the site could offer serious competition in the market.

Sadly, MySpace has waned in popularity since those heady days - and even an attempt to refocus on offering a place for independent bands to showcase their work hasn't been enough to stop the exodus of users to Facebook. While a redesign in October saw a rise in new memberships, it appears to be too little too late.

The meeting was scheduled for the day after the company announced massive job losses, with almost half of MySpace's worldwide jobs to be canned in an attempt to lessen the company's spiralling losses.

The thing is, adds Paul Hales, if Murdoch can't make money out of it with all the resources at his command, who can? Hey Rupe, we'll give you a fiver for it.