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Rupe snaps up dotcoms

News Corp. expands online with two buys

News Corp. has made good on its promise to buy more startups, announcing Monday the acquisition of two early-stage companies.

The two firms, Newroo and kSolo, are media tools as much as destinations. Newroo is a search engine that combs thousands of blogs, while kSolo.com is — no joke — an online karaoke services provider. It offers a database that allows users to record their own versions of popular songs.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although observers expect the prices to be comparatively low.

The companies are both in very early stages, with Newroo not yet launched and kSolo retaining only a handful of employees.

Fox Interactive Media chief Ross Levinsohn recently told Daily Variety that News Corp. would look to buy more lesser-known New Media companies.

Both companies will be melded into a number of Fox properties, with the blogging service Newroo integrated into Fox Sports, allowing fans to post reports on the site.

It will not be integrated into Fox News, which is run separately under Roger Ailes.

An insider described both companies as fitting with the company’s goal of more user-driven content. High-profile acquisitions such as MySpace and Scout — and recent buy Simplyhired.com — already play off this idea.

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