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Rhapsody announces plans to acquire Napster

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Details are fairly light at the moment, but Rhapsody has just announced that it plans to acquire Napster, and that the deal is expected to be complete as soon as the end of November. In a statement, Rhapsody president Jon Irwin said that the deal "will further extend Rhapsody's lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market," and that "this is a 'go big or go home' business, so our focus is on sustainably growing the company." According to Rhapsody, the company will acquire Napster's subscribers and "certain other assets" under the agreement, and Best Buy (Napster's current owner) will receive a minority stake in the company. Press release is after the break.

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Rhapsody to Acquire Napster

America's largest on-demand music service to add Napster's subscriber base to extend leadership position

SEATTLE, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhapsody, the nation's largest premium on-demand music service, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Napster, a unit of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY). Under the terms of the agreement, Rhapsody will acquire Napster subscribers and certain other assets, and Best Buy will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody. The transaction is expected to close on or around November 30, 2011.

"This deal will further extend Rhapsody's lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market," said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. "There's substantial value in bringing Napster's subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody as we execute on our strategy to expand our business via direct acquisition of members and distribution deals."

The transaction will combine the subscriber bases of the two largest premium on-demand music services in the United States, and will allow Rhapsody to further enhance its product line to deliver even more value to its members.

"Rhapsody has demonstrated that it has what it takes to build a profitable business in the increasingly competitive on-demand music market," said Chris Homeister, senior vice president and general manager of entertainment for Best Buy. "We are confident they are the right partner to provide Napster's existing subscriber base with an immersive digital music experience moving forward."
"This is a 'go big or go home' business, so our focus is on sustainably growing the company," said Irwin. "We're excited to welcome Napster music fans to the best on-demand music experience anywhere. Our new members will have more places to connect to the music they love and to discover new favorites, guided by Rhapsody's rockstar editorial team and the tastes of other Rhapsody members via our innovative social features."

To learn more about Rhapsody, please visit www.rhapsody.com/plans. You can also follow Rhapsody on Twitter and Facebook.

About Rhapsody
The Rhapsody® digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 13 million songs, whether they're listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through more touch-points than any other digital music service, including mobile phones from Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips. Rhapsody, and the Rhapsody logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.

About Best Buy
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) is a leading multi-channel global retailer and developer of technology products and services. Every day our employees - 180,000 strong - are committed to helping deliver the technology solutions that enable easy access to people, knowledge, ideas and fun. We are keenly aware of our role and impact on the world, and we are committed to developing and implementing business strategies that bring sustainable technology solutions to our consumers and communities. For information about Best Buy, visit www.bby.com and to shop at Best Buy, visit www.bestbuy.com.

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