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Murdoch "Mystified" By Microhoo Failure records plenty of sound bytes from Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch, speaking at his own show, the sixth annual D Conference, hosted by All Things Digital bloggers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. During the interview, the News Corp. chairman touched on a variety of topics, starting with his decision to keep the's Online subscription model, which he said stemmed from realizing how much money it was generating. "People can pay a lot more than we are charging," he said.

Regarding Microhoo, Murdoch said: "I am mystified. If Microsoft just left the deal on the table, the shareholders would have seen the light. The alternatives are too complicated," he added. "The deal with Google would surely increase their bottomline, but there is a real regulatory risk in any of this. If this gets stuck in regulatory approval for 12 months, Google will eat everyone's length. Google gushes money, and you can see why Microsoft is worried." Murdoch said that if he were Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, he would restart negotiations at $33 per share. As for Carl Icahn's proxy fight, "That's not serious ... he just wants to make a few hundred million bucks."

On the social networking front, Murdoch said that News Corp.'s market-leading MySpace has "developed tremendously" over the last six months, especially considering the rising threat of No. 2 Facebook. "By any measurement, we are 2-3 times more (than Facebook)" he said. "And we are only beginning our international expansion. In U.S., we have twice as many uniques ... any user in the U.S. stays with us an hour a month longer than Facebook




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