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News Corp buys social video firm Unruly

[SAN FRANCISCO] News Corp, the publishing group created by magnate Rupert Murdoch, announced plans Wednesday to buy social video ad firm Unruly for up to US$176 million.

Britain-based Unruly will operate as an independent unit, reporting to Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK.

"Unruly will continue to work with its existing roster of global advertisers and publishers and collaborate with News Corp businesses around the world," New York-based News Corp said in a statement.

Created in 2006, Unruly is known for its ShareRank proprietary technology, which predicts the virality of videos across social and digital media.

Its clients include Adidas, Dove, Evian, Renault and T-Mobile.

"Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing businesses in the digital age," said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp.

"The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping to extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area."

News Corp agreed to pay £58 million (S$125.6 million), and up to £56 million in future payments based on certain performance objectives.

The current News Corp was formed in 2013 when Rupert Murdoch broke off the fast-growing entertainment arm of his empire as 21st Century Fox.

It includes an array of newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and The Times along with book publisher HarperCollins.

At News Corp, Murdoch holds the title of executive chairman and his son Lachlan is co-chairman.

A similar arrangement was announced this year at 21st Century Fox, where Murdoch's son James is chief executive.


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