News Corp. ups its mobile ante

Pays $200 mil for full control of venture with VeriSign

NEW YORK -- News Corp. has spent about $200 million to buy full control of its former mobile entertainment joint venture with VeriSign.

The venture was unveiled in fall 2006 when News Corp. agreed to pay $188 million for a 51% interest in VeriSign's Jamba mobile ringtone and games unit and combine it with its Fox Mobile Entertainment assets. The move created what the two touted as the world's largest provider of mobile entertainment. News Corp. got an option to buy full control back then.

VeriSign said it would focus on its core business in Internet infrastructure. The firm operates the largest domain name registry in the world.

"News Corp. has been a good business partner, and we wish them well as they continue to operate an exciting mobile entertainment business," said Jim Bidzos, executive chairman of the board, president and CEO of VeriSign.