RealNetworks Inc. said Wednesday that it has acquired Sony NetServices, Sony Corp.'s European music-download service, for $9 million in cash to add to its mobile entertainment technology portfolio and strengthen its market position in Europe. RealNets said the addition of Sony NetServices' technology to its previous acquisition of South Korea-based mobile music services provider WiderThan Co. will give it a strong presence in the mobile entertainment market. Sony NetServices offers consumers the ability to download full songs or stream music to their 3G mobile handset as well as their PCs.
AOL, the Internet arm of Time Warner Inc., said Wednesday that it has bought a controlling interest in Adtech AG, an online advertising company, for an undisclosed sum. Its Helios IQ ad serving platform helps Web publishers manage, serve and report on their online advertising campaigns. The announcement came one day after AOL said it bought mobile advertising company Third Screen Media. Adtech, which has customers in 25 countries, will continue to be based in Frankfurt, Germany, and will operate as a unit of AOL's Advertising.com business.
Shares of TiVo Inc. rose 5.9% on Wednesday to $6 after Bear Stearns analyst Kunal Madhukar lifted his rating on the stock from "peer perform" to "outperform." The upgrade came one day after shares were hammered on a downgrade to "sell" by an analyst at SMH Capital. Madhukar said a recent pullback in shares makes TiVo a good buy and that the stock should rise about 24% before year's end. He also said new content and feature initiatives as well as a marketing campaign could give the company a near-term benefit.