Blinkx [BLNX.L] shares shot up in earlier London trade today amid new speculation that both Google Inc. [GOOG] and News Corp. [NWS] could be interested in buying the Internet video search engine. The stock lost some ground in later trading when Blinkx issued a statement saying it was not aware of any bids.
It's not the first time a major Internet or media company has been reported to be interested in Blinkx, whose focus on video search is increasingly valuable as the Web evolves from a primarily text-based source of content to one dominated by rich media like video. Indeed, News Corp. [NWS] was reported to be interested in the company back in 2005.
Last year, San Francisco-based Blinkx merged with British search provider Autonomy, and a Reuters story speculates that the timing of these latest takeover rumors might be explained by a clause in its deal, due to expire on May 24, which stipulates that $50 million must be paid to Autonomy in the event of a buyout of Blinkx within a year of the deal with Autonomy.
Still, it's easy to see why News Corp., Google or other companies might be interested in Blikx's video search technology, which addresses the next generation of search. As Piper Jaffray analyst Raeev Bahl responded when asked about such a deal, it "does not sound ridiculous." -- Andrea Orr
See May 9 post on Blinkx's rising stock price from paidContent.org
See August 2005 story on News Corp.'s interest in Blinkx from TheDeal.com
See May 9 post on News Corp. and Google circling Blinkx from Reuters.com