Rupert Murdoch's media empire News Corporation is set to acquire top US videogames website publisher IGN Entertainment in a deal worth some $650 million, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal today.
The deal - which remains unconfirmed by both companies - apparently comes as the result of a bidding war for the internet company between News Corp and rival media group Viacom.
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IGN, whose sites include the eponymous IGN.com as well as GameSpy.com and TeamXbox.com, along with several non-games properties such as RottenTomatoes.com and AskMen.com, is the largest acquisition News Corp has made so far in the Internet space.
Earlier this year, the company paid $580 million for Intermix Media, which publishes the MySpace.com website, and has more recently acquired Scout Media Inc, which publishes over 200 web sites for local sports teams.
IGN recently filed for an initial public offering, which will presumably now be halted. The company boasts over 26 million visitors a month to its sites, but has yet to report a profit - losing $14.3 million on sales of $42.9 million in the last financial year.