Just Dow it
Rupert Murdoch finally got his paper. His drama queen battle for Dow Jones (NYSE:DJ) ended successfully, with News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) convincing the Bancroft family to accept its $60-per-share buyout offer.

Consider yourselves lucky, Dow Jones shareholders. No one really had a reason to bid more than $5 billion for the company the way News Corp. did. It was also an offer that would be worth less over time. With the launch of Fox Business Network looming, any delays in acquiring Dow Jones would have made it practically pointless from a branding perspective.

News Corp. hopes to use The Wall Street Journal -- and perhaps Barron's -- as branding ammo in giving its business news cable channel credibility. When it comes to financial reporting, The Wall Street Journal is as close as one could get to the gold standard. Taking on General Electric's (NYSE:GE) CNBC doesn't seem as challenging now that it has decades of journalistic pedigree to watch its back.

The deal still has to pass regulatory muster. Critics are lining up against it. Still, it could have been worse. If the Bancrofts had kept dragging their feet or talked down the deal entirely, there really would have been no one waiting in the wings. Maybe the stock wouldn't have swan-dived back into the $30s, where it was before the surprisingly beefy offer came in, but it would have definitely plummeted sharply.

News Corp. is often a politically polarizing company, given the conservative bent of its FOX News, but this is also the same company behind the free-spirited MySpace and this past week's box office success of The Simpsons. The difference now is that the company is going from Homer Simpson's signature "D'oh" to shelling out a ton of dough.

Ice is nice at Disney
Disney's (NYSE:DIS) cyberspace redesign of its Disney.com homestead will not be an organic makeover. Disney's move to acquire Club Penguin in a deal that may be worth as much as $700 million -- or more than News Corp. paid for MySpace -- is intriguing. Disney has had several online communities like ToonTown Online, Virtual Magic Kingdom, and Disney Fairies. It's ready to roll out another avatar hub themed to its Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

However, these are competitive times. Whether it's battling Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) Neopets or Mattel's (NYSE:MAT) Barbie Girls, Disney knows that the stakes are high in the high-margin world of Web-based social networks. Club Penguin is an impressive catch with 12 million registered users, 700,000 of them paying as much as roughly $60 a year for enhanced participation. It will serve Disney well. As a bonus, the deal is accretive to earnings. That should put a smile on Mickey every time.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Disney is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Mattel has made the cut as an Inside Value stock pick. If this weekend finds you hungry for stock picks, snag a 30-day trial subscription offer to either newsletter service.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy.