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Murdoch Bid to Dethrone Zillow Starts With Knocking Math

Can Rupert Murdoch take an online fixer-upper and turn it into a digital real estate profit spinner? Murdoch’s News Corp. plunked down $864 million in November to acquire Realtor.com’s parent company, Move Inc., setting up a testy head-to-head rivalry with the unmatched king of online home-sales information, Zillow Group Inc. Zillow has bounded to the top in part because of a feature that includes price estimates for almost every house in America. Now, Realtor.com, enriched and emboldened after the News Corp. purchase, is fighting to claw away at Zillow’s mainstay “Zestimates,” contending they just aren’t that accurate. “We want to emphasize what’s real,” News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson said in an interview.