Stories by Michael Learmonth

Economist in dash for fast streaming

The Economist magazine has taken a shortcut to high-speed Internet programming by signing a deal with a video streaming specialist with a private network to distribute its content across the existing narrowband Internet.

EMI, Warner Call the Whole Thing Off

After weeks of marathon negotiations with Europe's regulatory authorities, EMI and Time Warner say they are scrapping their $US20 billion merger plans.

Indie Record Labels Fear Mega-Mergers

A Brussels-based organization representing 400 independent record labels warned the European Commission on Tuesday that the proposed merger of America Online Inc., Time Warner Inc. and EMI Group PLC, and Vivendi's takeover of Universal could "result in total control of the emerging digital-delivery market for music."

U.K. and U.S. Online Ad Brokers Team Up

U.S.-based, a business-to-business advertising firm that has brokered deals between buyers and sellers for advertising on the Internet, in print magazines and in other outlets, announced Monday that it had taken a minority stake in a U.K.-based competitor,

British Telecom Prepares for Prime Time

Britain's long wait for broadband Internet access is over, but British Telecom PLC's transition from telephone conglomerate to media company has just begun.

Europe's Four Little MP3s

In 1997, Michael Roberston purchased Inc. from a gentleman with the initials MP, in what may go down in dot-com history as the greatest speculative domain buy of all time. But four businessmen are showing that the histories of European country domains, .fr, .it. and .es - are still being written.

Lastminute's French Connection

In March, British late-deals travel site PLC made one of the last blockbuster IPOs, just days before Europe's latest e-commerce malaise set in, raising £113 million (US$169.5 million).

Napster Leaps To Its Own Defense

Laying out a defense that sets the stage for a legal showdown at the end of the year, attorneys representing Napster Inc. responded Monday to the recording industry's request that the song-swap service be immediately shut down.

EMusic Changes Its Business Tune Inc. (EMUS) , one of the first and largest Web companies trying to gain its fortune selling MP3 downloads, has laid off 20 percent of its workforce and is now repositioning part of its business from the relatively small consumer-download market to business-to-business.

Napster Takes the Defensive

Seven law firms representing 16 record labels, one publisher, a rap star and an aging metal band all want a piece of Napster Inc.'s hide.