The end result of Google's $1 billion investment in AOL in 2006? 28 cents on the dollar.
Time Warner, which is in the process of spinning out AOL as a separate company once again, confirmed that Google sold its 5 percent stake in AOL for $283 million on July 8, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Both companies had signaled their intentions long ago regarding that stake: Google notified Time Warner in February that it was ready to make a move and wrote off more than $700 million of that investment in January, … Read more
Oracle, the giant enterprise software company, has accused Qtrax, the legal peer-to-peer music service, of copyright infringement and breach of contract in a $2 million lawsuit filed last week in Northern California.
Qtrax is the music service that was ridiculed in January 2008 after the four major labels denied the company's claims that it had licensing agreements with them. Eventually, Qtrax did get the major label deals. Nonetheless, the start-up has apparently run into some trouble paying bills in the past several months, said a source close to the company.
Oracle said in the complaint, filed with U.S. … Read more
Reports began to surface Sunday charging that AT&T had blocked broadband access to parts of the notorious (and powerful) Internet forum site 4chan, which the telecom company confirmed on Monday. Late in the evening, a fake story surfaced on CNN's iReport citizen journalism site alleging that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson had been "found dead in his multimillion dollar beachfront mansion" after a cocaine overdose.
Suffice it to say that the two events are likely connected. Access to 4chan has since been restored for AT&T broadband customers.
For those who stepped in … Read more
Apparently, the digital download didn't kill the album after all.
The four largest recording companies and Apple reportedly have plans to create what they hope is the next-generation album. Driving the efforts is the hope that music can once again deliver fat profits, instead of the scrawny margins earned on 99 cent downloads.
On Sunday evening, the Financial Times reported that Apple plans to entice customers to accept packaged music by throwing in "photos, lyric sheets and liner notes" and also enable consumers "to play songs directly from the interactive book without clicking back into Apple'… Read more
When news broke late Sunday that Apple has plans to create the next-generation music album, some in the record industry were steamed.
The Financial Times reported that Apple was working on a plan code-named "Cocktail" that involves the creation of "new type of interactive album material, including photos, lyric sheets and liner notes that allow users to click through to items that they find most interesting." That's nearly identical to a plan that executives from some of the four largest music labels pitched Apple about 18 months ago, said a music industry source who requested … Read more
It's out with the not-so-old and in with the new for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong as he commemorates 100 days at the helm of the dot-conglomerate. Less than a year after AOL launched a new brand called "MediaGlow to encompass all its publishing properties, the company is getting rid of the name and reestablishing it as the far less cute "AOL Media." The company's advertising division, Platform-A, is now "AOL Advertising."
Ashton Kutcher: Twitter will change media Plus, "aplusk" says that it offers him a way to reach the same audience that a studio would spend tens of millions of dollars to reach through traditional advertising.(Posted in Beyond Binary by Ina Fried) July 24, 2009 11:29 AM PDT
HP plans electronic whiteboarding tool The PC-to-PC conferencing solution will allow people to video conference and write on their screens, Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd said Friday. (Posted in … Read more
PASADENA, Calif.--InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller says he ended up with a huge Internet conglomerate, but said that was never really his goal.
"I don't really believe in synergies," Diller said Friday, speaking at Fortune's Brainstorm: Tech conference here.
In the past few years, IAC has already spun off Home Shopping Network, Expedia, LendingTree, and Ticketmaster. He'd eventually like to see the Ask.com search and Citysearch local businesses stand alone as well.
"They are in formation, he said. "They are not sufficiently landed. I'm hopeful that they will be."
Fortune … Read more
Update: 11:20 a.m. Friday, July 24, 2009: To include comments from Orbitz.
Thousands of Web shoppers have complained that "mystery charges" are showing up on their credit card statements and have accused those who operate so-called Web loyalty programs of duping them into signing up.
As a result, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is investigating Vertrue, WebLoyalty, and Affinion--companies who make "cash-back" and coupon offers to consumers and charge those who enroll in their loyalty programs.
If you think that anyone who unwittingly signs up to one of these programs must be an … Read more