News Corp. seeking stake in Yahoo"”report

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is discussing swapping social networking web site MySpace for a 25% stake in Yahoo, The Times newspaper, quoted by an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, further quoting The Times, which is owned by News Corp., also said News Corp. was looking for exposure in a larger Internet-based business such as Yahoo.

News Corp. spent $580 million to buy MySpace in 2005, the report said.

Corporate officials at News Corp. and Yahoo, both based in the US, were not available for comment, the Associated Press report said.

Yahoo has been losing out to Google, whose shares have increased six-fold in value since 2004 while Yahoo's share price has dipped, the report further said.

Profit at Yahoo fell 11% in the first quarter, the company said, and it warned that second-quarter results may be at the low end of expectations.

The downturn has fueled speculation that Yahoo might consider combining with eBay or MySpace, the report said.