Judge Tosses Claim|Against IAC/Interactive

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The former CEO of the company that owned MySpace lost his claim that Google and Ask.com rigged bids so that News Corp. could buy MySpace on the cheap in 2005.
     U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte dismissed Brad Greenspan v IAC/InterActiveCorp. et al. with prejudice on May 15 for failure to prosecute. Whyte gave Greenspan a May 1 deadline to respond to the judge’s April 20 order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed, and Greenspan neither responded nor showed up at the May 15 OSC hearing, so Whyte dismissed with prejudice.
     Greenspan had sued IAC/InterActiveCorp., which now owns Ask.com, News Corp. and two former MySpace board members, Geoff Yang and David Carlick. He claimed that the bid-rigging scheme cause MySpace to be valued at $580 million, though it could have been worth as much as $132 billion.
     The lawsuit focused on the search engine contract for MySpace.
     Greenspan claimed that when Yahoo! ended its contract with MySpace in 2005, the social networking site needed a new search engine partner. Search engine contracts are valuable because they drive Internet traffic to sites such as Ask.com and Google.
     Greenspan claims that Ask.com, MySpace and Google entered a complicated set of secret agreements ensuring that Google would not bid on MySpace’s search engine contract until MySpace was acquired by News Corp.
     He claimed if Google had won the contract before the acquisition, MySpace would have sold for far more than the $580 million for which News Corp bought it.
     Ask.com benefited from the deal because it was providing search engine services for MySpace at the time, inflating its value, the complaint stated. IAC/InterActive bought Ask.com for nearly $2 billion.
     Greenspan claimed he owned 10 percent of stock Intermix Media, which formerly owned MySpace, and lost millions of dollars in the sale to News Corp.
     Greenspan was represented by Jeffrey Hogue with Hogue & Belong, of San Diego, who had no comment.
     IAC/InterActive was represented by Kurt Kappes with Greenberg & Traurig, of Sacramento, who had no comment.
     Google was represented by Lee Rubin with Mayer & Brown, of Palo Alto, who directed questions to Google, which did not respond by press time.

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