News Corp., MySpace Merger Questioned
The founder of MySpace's former parent company Intermix spoke out against its merger with News Corp. on Thursday, issuing a report that says the company defrauded shareholders out of as much as $20 billion. He also called for a federal investigation into the matter.
Brad Greenspan claims that Intermix's CEO Richard Rosenblatt along with certain board members deceived shareholders into voting for the transaction even though they knew the company was undervalued. He cited internal reports showing that MySpace revenues were growing at a rate of over 1,200 percent a year.
"I expect as the authorities get their arms around what happened, that this transaction will be unwound and Myspace will be independent," he said. "An independent Myspace is significantly better for its users and shareholders."
Among the charges levied against News Corp are self dealing, insider trading, options acceleration, and unfair process related to purchase. Greenspan is asking for investigations to be launched by both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Greenspan's figures have not been independently verified, and News Corp has disputed his version of the events surrounding the merger transaction.
A company spokesperson told Reuters that Greenspan's complaints are "simply a case of sour grapes making for loud complaints." However, both Greenspan and other shareholders have filed suit against both the company and VantagePoint Venture Partners, a venture capital firm involved in the transaction, claiming malfeasance.
"News Corp.'s valuation has increased by $12 billion since the transaction occurred just one year ago, and there are several independent analysts today that agree that Myspace is worth tens of billions of dollars," Greenspan added. "It is time everyone knew the truth about the 'hijacking' of Myspace and the individuals responsible for this eye popping theft."