updated 12/22/2006 5:44:42 PM ET 2006-12-22T22:44:42

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. will swap its controlling stake in the satellite TV broadcaster DirecTV Group Inc. with Liberty Media Corp. in exchange for Liberty’s 16 percent stake in News Corp., the companies announced Friday.

The deal settles a long-simmering dispute between Murdoch, News Corp.’s chairman and CEO, and Liberty’s Chairman John Malone, who surprised Murdoch two years ago by suddenly building up a large stake in the global media conglomerate that Murdoch built.

Under the deal, which had been expected, News Corp. will give Liberty its 38.4 percent stake in DirecTV, three regional sports cable networks and $550 million in cash.

In return, News Corp. will receive Liberty’s entire stake in News Corp., which is worth 16.3 percent of the company’s value. News Corp. said in a statement that the deal will amount to a buyback of about $11 billion of its own stock.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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