Move Chairman Joe Hanauer and CEO Steve Berkowitz issued the following open letter this morning following the announcement of News Corp acquiring Move, Inc.
To all of our customers, partners and colleagues –
Early today, the announcement of a definitive agreement for Move, Inc. to be acquired by the global media and information services company News Corp was made in New York. This is a historic moment for our company, which began its public life in 1999 as Homestore.com, Inc. and today accounts for more than 3.7 million homes listed for sale on our websites and apps and attracts nearly 35 million unique monthly visitors.
We have been in discussions with News Corp for some time now about the unique value and potential of realtor.com® and our leading brand assets, including ListHub™, TopProducer®, TigerLead® and FiveStreetSM, as well as our leading online destinations in the moving and rentals spaces. News Corp sees the same potential we do—and we could not be more pleased to consummate today’s agreement, which carries the full support of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
The significance of this acquisition for the industry is embodied in the specific and tangible benefits to Move and its constituents, in the shared values between Move and News Corp, and in the continuation of the mission that has led to our success thus far and will continue to drive us in the months and years ahead.
Combining the assets of Move and News Corp will result in broad and substantial benefits for home buyers and home sellers, agents and brokers, and organized real estate in general. Specifically, the combination will deliver:
- Broadened reach for Move through News Corp’s robust media platform, including the WSJ Digital Network (which accounts for approximately 500 million average monthly page views) and News America Marketing (which reaches nearly 74 million U.S. households)
- Increased sales and marketing support to drive higher brand awareness and traffic
- Cross-platform promotional opportunities
- Improved product innovation that leverages News Corp’s real estate and digital expertise
- Increased traffic and time on site with high quality News Corp content
In 2013, News Corporation separated into two distinct, publicly traded companies – News Corp and 21st Century Fox (which is home to Twentieth Century Fox Film, Fox Television, Fox News Channel and other broadcasting and entertainment businesses).
The “new” News Corp is today one of the world’s leading media and information services companies, comprised of news, book publishing, digital real estate, digital education and integrated marketing businesses. It is home to such iconic brands as Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the New York Post, The Australian and HarperCollins Publishing, as well as The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun in the UK. News Corp also has a 61.6% stake in the REA Group Limited (REA), which operates the leading Australian residential property website, realestate.com.au. REA plans to hold a 20% stake in Move, with 80% held by News Corp.
Many of the companies in the online real estate space have a demonstrated interest in participating in the fee and commission structure of real estate transactions. In contrast, News Corp’s focus on media and information services provides consumers and real estate professionals with accurate and timely information. Additionally, News Corp knows real estate. They have strong and long-standing relationships with the industry and enter into this agreement with a deep commitment to partnering with the NAR and Realtors®. News Corp believes that real estate professionals— the more than one million Realtors®, brokers, agents and MLS operators who form the backbone of our industry—remain vital to a great real estate experience.
News Corp also believes that Move’s standing in the marketplace—as the source of the biggest, best and most accurate inventory of homes for sale and rent – as well as our partnership with the NAR differentiate our business and uniquely position us to lead the industry.
Continuing the mission
Most companies launch Internet strategies to disrupt conventional business practices—sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Recognizing the impact the Internet might have on real estate information, the NAR had the foresight some 16 years ago to reinvent how consumers gain access to property information. The belief was that if consumers sought real estate information online, it should come from the best source of information—Realtors®–versus others who would simply add cost and complexity to real estate transactions.
Through realtor.com® the NAR and Move wrote the book on how online real estate should function. Now, as part of News Corp, we will have access to resources, content and media assets that will enable us to more rapidly achieve our potential.
As we leverage these considerable new assets, our mission and our focus remain constant. Today and in the future, we will provide people with the content, tools and professional expertise they need to find their perfect home and work tirelessly to ensure that the real estate professional remains indispensably connected to the process of buying and selling homes.
That means promoting the REALTOR® brand. Generating the best quality leads. Powering syndication through broker choice and control. And creating equal opportunity for all participants in the business. As part of News Corp, we will ensure that Move and all of our assets have the right tools, resources and reach to compete vigorously—and to lead.
We know we speak for all of us at Move in saying how enthusiastic we are to join News Corp—and in thanking you for your continued support of our people, products and services.
Continued success and best wishes.
Joe Hanauer Steve Berkowitz
Chairman of the Board Chief Executive Officer
Move, Inc. Move, Inc.