News Corp has confirmed it’s trying to offload its mobile businesses, collectively know as Fox Mobile Group, after stating it was a loss-making venture.
The planned sell-off would include Jamba, the company behind the Crazy Frog ringtone, which News Corp bought for an estimated $388m in 2008 and now operates under the Jamster brand.
However, in a meeting with investment analyst firm Chase Carey, News Corp COO said, “We’re perusing a process to potentially sell Jamba. We prefer to build businesses rather than buying them. It has been the foundation on which we’ve built this business. It’s certainly what we plan to pursue.”
Fox Mobile Group was formed in an attempt by News Corp to leverage the mobile distribution rights of its entertainment brands, such as The Simpsons.
However, repeated attempts to launch a Hulu-like VOD service for smartphone users have yet to be successful.
Previous speculation over the future of Fox Mobile suggested Spain’s Zed Group or Italy’s Buongiorno might buy the group (nma.co.uk 11 March 2010).