FT Digital BusinessRupert Murdoch's News Corporation has purchased web media firm Intermix for $580 million.

The deal will be seen as a significant move for News Corp into the new media field.

Intermix Media runs a network of more than 30 websites offering blogs, gaming, chat rooms and social networking. Its key brand is MySpace.com, a social networking site with more than 16 million monthly users.

Intermix will become part of News Corp's Fox Interactive Media division alongside foxsports.com and foxnews.com, and will increase News Corp's web audience to around 45 million unique users every month.

"Intermix is an important acquisition for News Corp, instantly doubling the number of visitors to our sites and providing an ideal foundation on which to meaningfully increase our internet presence," said Mr Murdoch, the company chairman and CEO.

In April this year, Mr Murdoch gave a symbolic speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in New York in which he said that the newspaper industry had been complacent in not exploring the potential of the internet earlier.

He also described the web as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the industry to re-shape itself.

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