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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Google Denies Report on Napster Talks

Google denies a New York Post report that the Internet search giant is in talks with Napster over an alliance. Google issued on Wednesday a statement on UK's TimesOnline to respond to the rumor that it was discussing the acquisition of Napster.

The statement read as followed:

"No, we have no plans at this time to develop a music store, or to compete with existing online and offline music retailers."

It added: "Most of the details included on music results pages are links to third-party information and sites. We actually think this feature will help drive traffic for those retailers and music-related sites."

"And, because we include relevant AdWords ads on the music results page, this new feature may also increase advertising opportunities for music and entertainment industry."

On Tuesday the New York Post reported that Google was in talks with digital music service Napster over an "extensive alliance" that could include an "outright acquisition," citing anonymous sources.

The Post reported that Google was in discussions with Napster to offer a digital music service, rather than start one on its own. Napster had also denied all rumors as it told Reuters last week that it was not on the block. "The company is not looking to be sold, the management is not looking to step out. It's simply not true," a Napster spokesman said on Jan. 23.

Shares of Napster surged more than 30 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday on news of the report.

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