MySpace pulling out of the Netherlands?

Local rival Hyves is too dominant for the News Corp.-owned social network to make the impact that it hoped to, Dutch news outlets report.

MySpace is closing its office in the Netherlands after failing to adequately compete with homegrown rival Hyves, two Dutch news outlets reported.

Hyves is huge in the Netherlands. According to the Webwereld article published late last week, MySpace considered acquiring Hyves, but the plan fell through. MySpace said that this is untrue and that no acquisition talks went on.

Derek Fehmers, who handled MySpace's Dutch operations, told Entertainment Business that the News Corp.-owned company knew the Netherlands would be a difficult market. The decision to close the office came despite MySpace's 650,000 Dutch members, 250,000 of whom joined after MySpace launched a Dutch-language site.

MySpace's international expansion strategy has focused on creating separate sites for different regions of the world, often launching high-profile initiatives like concerts and developer contests to spread the word. But in many countries, there are already well-established social networks with big local followings.

A MySpace representative responded to CNET News' request for comment on Monday, stressing that regardless of whether there's a separate office for it, the company is not shutting down its Netherlands-centric portal.

The shuttered Amsterdam office, which just opened in February, will be folded into MySpace's Berlin office, according to Webwereld. A MySpace representative who responded to CNET News' request for comment on Monday said that the Netherlands MySpace site would be run out of London and Berlin, which is already the case for the company's Swiss and Austrian portals.

This post was updated at 9:58 a.m. PT with comment from MySpace.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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