News Corp. is set to announce today that it will buy 51 percent of ringtone seller Jamba for $187.5 million from VeriSign. Jamba (known as Jamster in the U.S.) is a Berlin-based direct-to-consumer mobile content retailer that made its fortunes on last year's Crazy Frog craze. News Corp. plans to merge Jamba with its Mobizzo unit, which sells so-called "mobisodes" of Fox television content. Jamba has a strong presence in the market and close ties with carriers, especially in Europe, and the acquisition will quickly establish News Corp. as a major player in the mobile content space. Jamba is set to offer content through the mobile platform as well as on News Corp.'s MySpace social networking site; the company will offer mobile content based on Fox's "The Simpsons" starting next year.
For more on the deal:
- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)