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Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Murdoch buys indya.com
Indya.com web page
Indya.com builds on Star's online presence in India
Rupert Murdoch's Star Network, owned by News Corp, has bought "nearly all" of Indian consumer internet portal indya.com.

English language Star has been investing more than $150m in about 20 dot.coms across Asia to provide its viewers with local-language content.

"We started out with 37%. Now we have nearly all of it," Gary Walrath, executive vice-president of Star Group, told a news conference in Bangalore where indya.com is based.

Star invested $50m for the initial 37% stake in April, but the additional holding cost much less Mr Walrath said without giving a figure.

Star performer

News Corp has recently bought stakes in Hong Kong's renren.com, the Chinese portal Netease and the Indian auction site Baazee.

But the company's entry into the Indian market has suffered a number of setbacks.

Star recently ended its partnership with Zee TV, India's largest private television broadcaster, while the failure of News Corp's ISkyB satellite channel left its strategy in disarray.

News Corp launched the channel in 1997 before getting the go-ahead from the Indian government which eventually denied it permission to broadcast.

See also:

02 May 01 | Business
Murdoch's DirecTV talks back on
18 Apr 01 | Business
Media giants in Italy merger talks
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