News, Yahoo!: We're just friends

The rumours started with an article in The New Yorker magazine detailing a meeting between News CEO Peter Chernin and Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang. It suggested that they met to discuss details of a potential scrip-for-scrip deal whereby News provided access to Yahoo!'s websites via its satellite systems.

While Yahoo! declined to comment, News Corp's director of corporate affairs, Aileen Berry, conceded the companies had met, and that such a deal would make strategic sense to industry spectators. However, she would not reveal details of the companies' discussions.

"There's no doubt News and Yahoo! speak. But there's a big difference between speaking and dealing," she said. "I think most people who have been following the satellite issues of late probably think it's logical."

Talk of the rumoured deal, along with hearsay that the media giant plans to invest $A1.6 billion in Singapore Telecom, saw News Corp's share price surge 5 per cent on Monday and then maintain its market foothold by increasing a further 1 per cent yesterday.

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Byron Kaye

PC World

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