Fox Mobile up for sale as News Corp. writes off $217 million

Giant looking to pull out of mobile

Fox Mobile up for sale as News Corp. writes off $217 million
News Corp. has confirmed it is looking to shed its mobile content business Fox Mobile, with the giant adding it has had to write off $217 million from the value of its outdoor and mobile businesses in the last quarter.

The news was revealed via COO Chase Carey, who told investment analysts earlier this week that Jamba – the mobile content provider owned by Fox Mobile that trades as Jamster in the UK – is already up for sale.

"We are pursuing a process to potentially sell that," said Carey, according to mocoNews.

"We prefer to build businesses than buying them. It's been the foundation on which we've built this business. It's certainly what we plan to pursue."

The site claims a News Corp. spokesperson later confirmed that Chase's comments referred to both Jamba and its parent company Fox Mobile, with the firm set to pull out of mobile entertainment altogether in one fell swoop.

Spreading its business

Fox Mobile's solo output of late has been fairly sluggish, its focus on feature phones meaning its smartphone releases – which include Fantastic Mr Fox, Red Planet and Tic Tac Toe all on iPhone – have been few in number.

Instead, the publisher has increasingly partnered with third-parties, such as Chillingo, to release games based on film licenses such as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

Much more emphasis appears to have been placed on its buyout of Jamba, however, with the Berlin based company having joined Fox Mobile in 2006 after News Corp. - along with VeriSign - purchased a 51 percent share in the firm for approximately $188 million.

Combined with Fox Mobile's trivia game portal Mobizzo, Jamba has seen its content business slow of late, ringtone sales falling ever since the Crazy Frog's heyday in the mid-noughties.

[source: mocoNews]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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Fox bought the other 49% of Jamba a couple of years ago, so the loss is more around the 500B mark.