Roxio to acquire Napster assets

Toast developer Roxio has announced its intent to acquire the assets of Napster Inc., the now-defunct music sharing service. The deal is expected to close later this month.

It wasn't too long ago that information about Napster saturated newspapers, televisions and Web sites. The once high-flying service provided a way for computer users to share music -- often sharing commercial recordings of popular artists -- with impunity. The service's popularity raised the ire of some popular artists and their record labels, as well as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), resulting in lawsuits and court action that eventually lead to Napster's downfall. Napster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June of 2001.

Roxio is the developer of CD authoring software like Toast and Jam for the Macintosh and Easy CD Creator for the PC. The company was founded in September, 2000 as a wholly owned subsidiary of storage peripheral maker Adaptec Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roxio acquires all of Napster's assets -- including its intellectual property, such as its technology patents -- but none of Napster's liabilities. Roxio has offered US$5 million in cash and 100,000 warrants to purchase Roxio common stock for the deal.

Roxio President and CEO Chris Gorog noted said that the acquisition will expand his company's "role in the digital media landscape," although he stopped short of outline what sort of plans they had for Napster's technology specifically.

Roxio expects the deal to close following the approval of the Delaware bankruptcy court, which is expected to happen on November 27, 2002.

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Peter Cohen

PC World
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