Shares of Healtheon/WebMD (Nasdaq: HLTH), an online information and transaction platform for the healthcare industry, climbed 2-1/2 to 47 on Monday as reports circulated about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. making an investment in the company. The Financial Times reported that the billion-dollar deal would give Healtheon/WebMD promotion worth $750 million on News Corp.’s broadcast properties. Healtheon/WebMD would reportedly also get $250 million in cash.
The deal looks to be a good one for Healtheon/WebMD because the television promotion should significantly raise its brand awareness. Founder Jim Clark started Healtheon, which later merged with WebMD, because he wanted to revolutionize the health-care industry. It would be nice if the company used some of its TV time to educate the general public about what it actually does.