How the mighty have fallen.
Six years after purchasing Myspace for $580 million, News Corp. admitted defeat in its social networking war with Facebook, confirming late Wednesday that it has unloaded the once-hot site for just $35 million to a group that includes Justin Timberlake.
Specific Media, an advertising company, purchased the once-dominant social networking site with plans to focus on increasing its musical presence - in part by having Timberlake in a decision-making role, The Associated Press reported.
"When we met with Justin and we discussed what our strategy was, we hit a chord with him," Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook told the wire service. "One of his passions is he really enjoys helping other artists and creating a community for people to really express themselves. I think we were blown away that we were able to get someone like Justin to be so excited about what we were doing."
Timberlake famously played an Internet mover-and-shaker, Napster founder and Facebook executive Sean Parker, in the 2010 movie, "The Social Network."
A lot has changed since News Corp. beat out Viacom in a highly contentious bidding war for MySpace in 2005, two years after the site was founded. But after peaking in 2008, MySpace lost tremendous ground to Facebook and other sites, as users found the banner advertising annoying and deemed Facebook's layout superior.
Even as recently as four months ago, experts thought MySpace would go for closer to $100 million at auction.
About half of Myspace's 500 person workforce is expected to be laid off in the deal, a source told Reuters.