Billionaire investor Len Blavatnik will pay $3.3 billion to acquire Warner Music Group, which is currently owned by a private investment group controlled by Warner chief Edgar Bronfman. While $3 billion may seem like a high price to pay for a money-losing company with $2 billion in debt, Blavatnik faced competition from over a dozen other bidders, including Sony, Live Nation and Bertelsmann.
Reader Dave has graciously shared with us a tragic series of emails he sent to Time Warner Cable, the highlight of which comes when he tells them about the time that he called in because the New York City FOX affiliate wasn’t working (he wanted to watch the NY Football Giants) and was told that FOX 5 had decided to stop broadcasting in HD.
Update: Here’s how you can exchange your PlaysForSure code for an iTunes redemption code. Movie fans over at forum.blu-ray.com say Warner Bros’ new release of “Speed Racer” promises a digital copy of the movie that will work on iPods, but there’s no such thing on the disc—only protected WMV files. [blu-ray.com] (Thanks to Sabler!)
Thomas writes in to ask why Time Warner needs to send 12 different technicians to his home to get his Roadrunner speed up to the 10 mbits/sec that they promise in their advertising, as opposed to the 2.5 mbits/sec that he averages.
Ars Technica says that Walmart has given an ultimatum to “some of the largest record labels, including Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, to provide more of their respective music catalogs in MP3 format (that is, without DRM) next year.”
Warner Music profits down 58%. Discuss. [NYT]
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling takes a dim view of independently authored reference books, it seems. She’s joined a lawsuit to stop the publication of a fan-written reference book based on a website that she herself admitted to using while fact checking her writing.
Here’s the creepiest complaint we’ve received in a long, long time. Reader Sam says he was filmed by a security guard contracted by Time/Warner during a recent showing of The Invasion at an AMC movie theater.
Four people, likely students, walked into the back of the room, all holding cardboard signs. One sign had a scythe attached and said, “Don’t fear the RIAAper.” Another guy had no pants on and had a sign that said, “The RIAA sued the pants off me.” Another girl had a sign that said, “Download like it’s 1999.” And the last girl had some spare change in her hand that was to go to “Metallica’s retirement fund.”
Surprise, surprise. The Department of Justice has started issuing subpoenas against the music industry, including Sony BMG and Warner, for price fixing and collusion. Since it’s a sloppy Reuters brief we’re linking to here, mainly consisting of a list of the companies involved, here’s a blockquote with the summary gyst: