By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York— German media giant Bertelsmann has reached an agreement with Napster to acquire the assets of the Internet music service. Under the terms of the agreement, Bertelsmann will make available $8 million toward payment of Napster's creditors. Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers and Shawn Fanning, founder of the Redwood City, Calif. company, who both left Napster earlier this month, have rejoined the company to take it forward. The two execs had resigned after Napster's board had rejected Bertelsmann's acquisition efforts. Bertelsmann intends to financially reorganize Napster, making it a paid service, with music licensed from the recording business.
New York — News Corp. reported a $4 billion operating loss in its fiscal third quarter following a $4.2 billion non-cash write-down for its Gemstar-TV Guide International investment. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman, said the substantial investment write-down "does nothing to alter our firm belief in the strategic value of this powerful asset. But Murdoch did say he and his management team would keep a close watch on the company's interactive-programming-guide segment in the coming months. News Corp. owns nearly 43 percent of the company.
Minneapolis — Provell, which develops, markets and manages an extensive portfolio of membership and customer relationship management programs, has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11. The company said it has obtained $21 million in senior secured debtor-in-possession financing, which remains subject to court approval. A year ago, Provell had changed its name from Damark International, when the company decided to redirect its business model from marketing membership programs for catalog consumers to focus on customer-relationship management. At that time, the company said it would provide purchase-price discounts and benefits related to consumer and small business needs in such areas as shopping and entertainment, among others.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.