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Activision's Bobby Kotick is asked to join investor group pursuing Myspace

Activision Blizzard Inc. Chief Executive Bobby Kotick is kicking the tires of Myspace, the struggling social networking site that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is looking to unload before the media giant's fiscal year ends June 30.  Kotick

Kotick confirmed by email that he has been appoached to make a small investment in a group pursuing Myspace. The executive has not yet decided whether to join the group, whose other members have requested confidentiality.

Should this group succeed in securing Myspace, Kotick would not be involved in management of the site, and his investment would be his own behalf and not the game publisher, people with knowledge of the situation said. The technology blog AllthingsD first reported the dark-horse investor group's participation in the bidding.

The group is considered one of the finalists for a controlling interest in Myspace. News Corp. would retain an equity stake, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.

Other parties that have expressed interest in acquiring Myspace include the site's co-founder and former chief executive, Chris DeWolfe, the Vevo music service and an internal group led by Myspace CEO Mike Jones, said people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because of the confidentiality of negotiations.

The once highflying Myspace has seen its traffic and advertising revenue decline. The News Corp. business unit that includes Myspace reported an operating loss of $165 million in its most recent quarter because of lower advertising and search revenues. Meanwhile, the number of people visiting Myspace each month has fallen by nearly half over the last year, dropping to 37 million in April from 69 million a year earlier, according to ComScore Inc.

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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo of Bobby Kotick. Credit: Nancy Pastor / For The Times

 
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