updated 08:50 am EDT, Mon September 15, 2008
Best Buy to Buy Napster
Napster this morning made the surprise announcement that it has entered into an agreement that will see the online store acquired by Best Buy, putting an end to the company's independence. The terms of the deal are largely unavailable apart from a $121 million price but has seen Napster indefinitely delay its annual shareholder's meeting from its originally scheduled September 18th timeframe.
The initiative is nonetheless crucial for Napster, which has struggled to maintain its existing base of subscription and per-track customers amid competition from Amazon MP3, iTunes and other online stores. Napster just recently launched its own DRM-free MP3 store but has faced challenges from three critical investors who have been rallying opposition against the existing board of directors in the belief that the board isn't qualified to guide the company.
Best Buy is non-specific in announcing its intentions for the deal beyond 'enhancing capabilities' in digital media and the mobile realm, though the big-box retailer has often depended on outside help for its own, small-scale media store and has been largely dependent on protected Windows Media tracks for its in-house music service.