Courtship Over: EA and Take Two Part Ways

Talks OverThe takeover attempt was highly public.  From early February to late August, for more than six months, it grabbed headlines.  The private courtship that followed lasted less than a month.

On Sunday, Electronic Arts came out of a self imposed quiet period to announce their private discussions with Take Two were concluded.   At this time, EA said, the companies have decided not to pursue any merger.

Just two weeks ago, there was the slight prospect of otherwise.  Click to Read More

Moving Vertical: Live Nations Increasingly Integrated Music Business

live nation bankSince being spun off from Clear Channel in 2005, Live Nation’s management has oriented the company toward a path of broad, vertical integration.  Instead of being just an event promoter, they’ve aimed to transform from a narrowly focused promotion business to a comprehensive music services company.  Non-essential (and non-music) assets have been divested.  Ticketing and fan membership services have been acquired.  People and assets have been shifted.  This week, two more steps were taken toward the fulfillment of those goals.

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Venture Report: $32m for Miniweb

miniweb financingAbout year and a half to two years ago, the big money was going into Internet video platform services.  One after another companies hoping to rival YouTube in content aggregation, or IPTV services dreaming of better content delivery, closed venture rounds in excess of ten and twenty million dollars.  Today, the hot zone for massive venture investment may be interactivity. 

In late August, San Mateo based Conviva secured $20m for their interactive live broadcast platform.    Today, UK based Miniweb announced the closing of a $32m round.

Miniweb was founded in 2007, the result of a management buyout (“MBO”) of select interactive assets from British TV service BskyB Click to Read More

Legal Briefs: DMCA Safeharbors Upheld for Veoh

copyright crosshairAs technology changes and the uses of media evolve into unforeseen territories, questions about legal feasibility and permissible behavior invariable arise.  It’s a battle that often pits content owners against content distributors.  It’s issues of fair usage, of reasonable protection and questions about levels of professional responsibility. 

What can be shown?
What can be copied?
How much effort does a company have to make to police customer behavior? 
What are “reasonable” standards?

It’s the courts’ unenviable job to interpret the often vague, and complex, nuance of law written before the very innovations in question were even contemplated.  It’s their job to figure it all out.

Slowly but surely, judges are working through the process. Click to Read More

Nintendo Ups Forecasts for Fiscal Year

wii newsIt’s the “back to school” shopping season not the holiday period, still Nintendo’s seen enough.  With a slightly stronger dollar improving exchange rates and continuously impressive demand for both the Wii and DS (not to mention software), the Kyoto based game company upgraded their annual profit forecast by 23% Friday.

Wii sales forecasts have been notched up to 26.5m units (from 25m) for the fiscal year ending in March 2009.  Forecasts for the DS portable have been pushed to 30.5m units, up from estimates of 28m.

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No Reason to Question Insight

no questionSometimes scandal lingers just below the surface.  Dig a little, or a lot, and you can uncover a trove of sordid detail.  Other times, no matter how much you dig, there’s just no news.  No matter how hard you look, even behind the specter of impropriety, there’s nothing to report. 

Late Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal ran a story looking into tips about alleged fiduciary failures at venture firm Insight Venture Partners (IVP).  At first glance, it had all the makings of real trouble: an anonymous tipster, a substantial return on investment, and an apparent conflict of interest too.  On closer inspection, however, looks are deceiving.

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Venture Round Up: Conviva and Move Networks

Two companies addressing two different aspects of the online video marketplace – live content interactivity and broader, high quality video distribution – both announced financing news Monday.  For San Mateo based Conviva, it was a $20m Series B Financing.  For Utah based Move Networks, it was news that Microsoft was joining prior Series C investors with an undisclosed strategic investment.


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