Digest: Semel speaks to ad execs

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Yahoo Inc. CEO Terry Semel on Wednesday told advertising executives at the Strategic Account Summit, hosted by Microsoft Corp., that both tech firms are dedicated to preventing copyrighted video from appearing on their Web sites without proper licensing. Semel's appearance came just days after reports that the two companies have discussed a merger or other kind of teaming to better compete with Google Inc. Microsoft and Yahoo executives haven't commented on the issue; Semel didn't comment Wednesday.

Virgin sub loss

LONDON -- U.K. cable group Virgin Media said 47,000 customers quit the service in the first quarter despite a record £25 million ($50 million) marketing and rebranding program. Rival BSkyB added 51,000 new homes during the same period. Virgin, whose biggest shareholder is Richard Branson, said its loss widened from £120 million to £120.3 million ($220.6 million) on a 5% revenue decline to £1.02 billion ($2 billion). CEO Steve Burch warned that second-quarter user figures also could plunge on a carriage-fee dispute with Sky channels.

Rutledge sale


Cablevision Systems Corp. COO Tom Rutledge last week sold more than 300,000 shares of the company, which has agreed to go private, according to regulatory filings. They showed Rutledge sold 310,887 shares Friday at prices of $35.65-$35.73 each. The shares owned by Rutledge were issued at prices of $10.46-$20.78 each.

Liberty offer

Liberty Media Corp. said Wednesday that it will launch a Dutch auction self-tender offer to buy up to $500 million of its Liberty Interactive Group tracking stock. Liberty, founded by John Malone, plans to purchase Liberty Interactive series A common stock within a range of $23.75-$25.75 a share.
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