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Monday, December 02, 2002
Roxio snaps up Napster

Software vendor Roxio Inc. acquired the remaining assets of renegade song-swap pioneer Napster Inc. immediately after a bankruptcy court in Delaware approved the deal on Wednesday.

The Santa Clara, California, supplier of CD-burning software agreed to pay $5.3 million in cash and stock for Napster's intellectual property, including domain name and trademarks, and extensive technological portfolio, the company said in a statement.

Under the deal, Roxio will not assume any of Napster's pending liabilities, the company said.

Earlier this month, Roxio agreed to acquire the bankrupt online music distributor if it could gain court approval. The company provided no details of how it will use Napster's assets, saying only that it will announce its development plans in the coming months.

Once the high-flying startup of college student Shawn Fanning, Napster pioneered an Internet song-swapping service based on peer-to-peer (P-to-P) technology. The online music company claimed over 60 million users at its height, but the service got knocked offline in 2001 following a prolonged battle with the music industry over copyright infringement claims.

German media company Bertelsmann AG broke ranks with the music industry by investing millions of dollars in Napster, in the hope of cashing in on a global audience of music fans keen to download tunes over the Net. In September, the bankruptcy court blocked the G?tersloh, Germany, company from buying Napster.

More than a dozen bidders, including the Barcelona adult entertainment company Private Media Group, emerged as possible buyers.

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