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Deal gives Fox majority stake in National Geographic media

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership.

The agreement announced Wednesday will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture.

The arrangement brings together National Geographic's magazine with its cable channels and other media businesses. National Geographic originally partnered with Fox in 1997 to launch the National Geographic Channel. Officials said aligning the various media brands will help fuel future growth.

"This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella ... creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment," said James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, in announcing the deal.

However, some observers are worried about...


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