Shanghai – Sina Corp and Focus Media Holding Ltd announced they would effectively scrap their $1.4 billion merger over a deal that would have created China’s biggest private sector media company. At the same time, Sina, China’s biggest web portal, announced that a group led by its management team would buy about 10 percent of the company for $180 million, which could be used for future acquisitions and corporate purposes. A successful merger, which would have been the largest among publicly traded companies in China’s media industry and would have created a diversified giant media company able to compete with the country’s two state-run media titans, Beijing-based China Central Television and Shanghai Media Group. The deal, first announced in December, would have seen Sina buy all of Focus’ core outsider advertising assets. But China’s Ministry of Commerce, which would have to approve the deal, repeatedly failed to consider it, saying it needed more information even as a September 30 deadline set by the two sides approached. Charles Chao, chief executive of Sina, said in a statement that the delayed consummation of the transaction has negatively impacted the business operations of both sides. “We have decided with Focus’ management that the best course of action from here is (to) allow the current agreement deadline to expire,” he said.