Friday, December 12, 2008

Could the stars be aligning for a Google-N.Y. Times merger?

As the New York Times Co. is negotiating with lenders over its debt, speculation has been floating around the blogosphere, pushing the premise that Google Inc. should acquire the beleaguered Gray Lady. The thesis (or, rumor, as some would put it) has been around since the beginning of the year, with SpliceToday on Thursday reintroducing the idea of the unorthodox union of the stalwart of old media with the scion of new media. For one, John Ellis at RealClear Markets said earlier this year the Sulzbergers would run into the arms of Google to avoid any takeover from Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly covets the Times. Meanwhile, cash-flush Google reportedly would be able to scoop up the Times, which includes prime New York real estate, for $4 billion or possibly less in this declining market. Ellis argues the addition would make sense for Google because it would be able to "make money repurposing the cultural and culinary coverage, to pick just two categories, of the New York Times, across both its Internet and mobile platforms."

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