News Corp moves into education with Wireless Generation acquisition

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has acquired a 90% stake in Wireless Generation, a US-based education technology company, for around $360m (£226m).

Rupert Murdoch: chairman and chief executive officer of News Corporation
Rupert Murdoch: chairman and chief executive officer of News Corporation

Wireless Generation makes web-based software that helps teachers track the progress of students and tailors individual teaching.

The move marks News Corporation's first major move into the US education sector and brings it up against media and education publishing company Pearson.

Pearson, which owns the Financial Times and Penguin Books, has a significant education publishing arm.

According to News Corp, Wireless Generation is used by more than 200,000 teachers and three million students in the US. The company is a partner of the New York department of education and Murdoch claims that the software will revolutionise education in the US.

Wireless Generation will be managed by its founder and chief executive, Larry Berger, president and chief operating officer Josh Reibel, and executive vice- president and chief product officer, Laurence Holt. The company has 400 employees.

New Corporation did not disclose whether the deal would prompt redundancies at the company.

Murdoch, chief executive and chairman of News Corporation, said: "Wireless Generation is at the forefront of individualized, technology-based learning that is poised to revolutionize public education for a new generation of students."

He is on record as wanting to see improvements in public schools.

In September this year, The Observer reported that Murdoch’s UK national newspaper operation, which included The Sunday Times and The Sun, was drawing up plans to sponsor an academy school in east London.

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