CNET is fighting a hostile takeover bid by a consortium of investment funds that own 21 percent of the San Francisco-based online news company, according to The New York Times, MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal and others. An analyst quoted by the Times says that while the online tech ad market has been growing at 30 to 40 percent for the past several quarters, CNET’s core tech ad business is on pace to end 2007 down 3 to 4 percent. CNET, with 2,600 employees, has been hard hit by competition from blogs like TechCrunch, written by a handful of people at a fraction of the cost, the Times notes. The investors, led by hedge fund Jana Partners, are seeking control of CNET’s board, a move that presumably would lead to the ouster of chief executive Neil Ashe (pictured). (Photo credit: Jeff Chu, AP)

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