Roxio to scoop up Napster remains

Napster's final resting place will apparently be with digital media software provider Roxio Inc., which has agreed to acquire the remaining assets of the fallen peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file trading company for US$5 million in cash and 100,000 warrants to purchase Roxio common stock.

Santa Clara, California-based Roxio said Friday that it will acquire all of Napster's intellectual property and technology patent portfolio.

Napster filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after getting knocked offline in a prolonged battle with the music industry over claims that its P-to-P network facilitated copyright infringement.

Roxio said it will not be responsible for the bankrupt company's liabilities, however, which includes pending litigation.

"Roxio's acquisition of Napster will expand our role in the digital media landscape and enhance our offerings to customers," Roxio President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chris Gorog said in a statement.

The company did not offer any specifics on how it plans to use Napster's assets, saying that it will provide more details following the close of the transaction. Roxio added that it expects the deal to close with approval from the bankruptcy court on Nov. 27, 2002.

Other bidders for Napster's remains have included German music giant Bertelsmann AG, and even an adult entertainment company. Bertelsmann seemed the most natural candidate to acquire Napster's assets, however, given that the media conglomerate had already sunk millions into the startup, but its purchase was blocked by the bankruptcy court last September.

Roxio said that its decision to scoop up the remaining Napster assets was based on the companies' synergy in the digital media and entertainment markets.

"We feel that Napster has value," Roxio said in a statement.

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Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
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