Some headlines from last week: June 23 - 30, 2008
Guardian: Investors and Wall Street institutions would be forced to rely less on credit ratings under new rules proposed by the SEC. Rating agencies such as Moody's, McGraw-Hill Cos' Standard & Poor's and Fimalac SA's Fitch Ratings could be negatively impacted by the rules.
FoxBusiness: Interactive Data Corporation a leading provider of financial market data, analytics and related services agreed to acquire Kler's Financial Data Service S.r.l. (Kler's), a leading provider of reference data to the Italian financial industry, for a purchase price of EUR 19.0 million (or approximately $29.5 million based on current exchange rates) in cash. IDC is majority owned by Pearson plc.
Forbes: ImageSpan Inc., which provides enabling infrastructure for digital content licensing, today announced that it has closed a second round financing of $11 million from a group led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI).
Guardian: The boom in online news sites does not mean the UK should relax its media ownership laws, according to an influential House of Lords report. The report is a rebuke to media executives such as Rupert Murdoch, who believe the advent of online news should herald the relaxation of ownership laws. Murdoch himself told the committee that the UK's laws were "10 years out of date".
MediaDailyNews: Gannett has purchased a minority stake in Cozi, a Web site that allows families to communicate and coordinate schedules. The deal will give Gannett readers access to Cozi via the Internet and mobile devices, including various features like virtual family calendars, shopping lists, blogs and instant messaging.
PRWeb: Australian book printer BookPal has launched an audacious bid to challenge Amazon.com's Booksurge and Lulu.com for global market share in the rapidly growing book self publishing market, a market estimated to be valued at U.S. $13-$17 billion per year according to SelfPublishingResources.com.
FoxBusiness: Elsevier, the leading publisher of science, technology and medical information announced today that it will implement CrossCheck, the plagiarism detection service offered by CrossRef in collaboration with iParadigms. With plagiarism a growing problem for journal editors, Elsevier has invested in CrossCheck to develop, pilot and implement, a single database of published articles enabling publishers to easily verify the originality of submitted and published work.
The Telegraph: Executives from Amazon's MP3 store, which launched in the US last year, are understood to have been in London last week to thrash out details of the launch with British record company bosses. Amazon MP3 will compete directly with iTunes, Apple's online music store, and other digital downloading operations when it goes live. People familiar with Amazon's plans say its site is likely to be unveiled before the final quarter of the year, when a string of high-profile artists, including the Scissor Sisters and Snow Patrol.
TimesOnline: The American private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman has emerged as part of the consortium in talks to buy media firm Informa, publisher of Lloyd’s List. The Sunday Times has learnt that Hellman is part of a private-equity trio that includes Carlyle and Providence Equity.
TimesOnline: Springer Science & Media, the business-to-business publishing group owned jointly by the private equity groups Candover and Cinven, is still considering a bid for Informa despite the exhibitions group receiving an approach on Tuesday from private equity rivals. Springer, which previously made an offer in 2006, has been looking closely at Informa, the shares of which have fallen on concerns over its high debt levels.
TimesOnline: Helen Alexander, the outgoing chief executive at the Economist Group, is ending her tenure on a 23-per-cent rise in profits to £44.3 million. The profits increase for the 12 months to March 31 will allow the privately-held business to continue its policy of paying sizeable dividends. In total, £36.7 million in cash was handed over during the year to the shareholders, which include Pearson and members of the Rothschild, Schroder and Cadbury families.