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News Corp. Said Nears IGN Sale to J2 Global’s Ziff Davis

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp. is close to an agreement to sell its IGN Entertainment websites to J2 Global Inc.’s Ziff Davis, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

The price will be less than the $100 million News Corp. sought for the business, said the people, who requested anonymity because a deal hasn’t been announced.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., is leaving some businesses as his New York-based media company prepares to split into separate publishing and entertainment entities. IGN was once part of an interactive division that included MySpace.

Kris Sharbaugh, a spokeswoman for IGN in San Francisco, declined to comment. Jeff Adelman, a spokesman for Los Angeles-based J2 Global, didn’t return messages seeking comment.

IGN operates Gamespy.com, devoted to video games, and Askmen.com, which offers advice on sports and grooming. AllThingsD reported the pending sale yesterday.

News Corp. gained 1.5 percent to $28.16 yesterday in New York. The Class A stock has climbed 10 percent this year. J2 Global, which bought Ziff Davis publishing in November, rose 0.2 percent to $31.87 and has gained 4.2 percent this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net; Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at dmacmillan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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