Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is not holding takeover discussions with LinkedIn, a fast-growing online social network for professionals, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The source shot down British media reports that the two were discussing a deal worth about $1 billion. The two companies had been in talks for possible future partnerships, the source added.
News Corp and LinkedIn declined to comment.
At first glance, a deal could make sense. LinkedIn could provide the technology and service underpinnings to connect the business-world readers of Dow Jones publications if Murdoch's $5.6 billion deal for the publisher of The Wall Street Journal closes this year.
"Strategically, it would be a great fit," Goldman Sachs analyst Anthony Noto told the Reuters Media Summit last week. Whether it makes financial sense hinges on price, he said.
A deal would also satisfy Murdoch's instincts to exploit fast-moving opportunities before they peak. News Corp bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005 before the hangout for teenagers exploded to become the world's largest social network.
LinkedIn, the sixth-biggest U.S. social network, logged the biggest growth among its peers in October and topped the expansion rates of the larger MySpace and Facebook, according to Nielsen. LinkedIn attracted about 5 million U.S. visitors in October, up from 1.7 million a year earlier.