Articles of the Day


IAC Successfully Places $2 Billion In Debt; Will Have $1.3 Billion To Invest Internally And In Deals — This was expected, but still you can’t take anything for granted in this environment: IAC said this afternoon that it has successfully raised about $2 billion in debt, associated with its spinoff plan. Specifically, the company raised $840 million through bonds and another $1.15 billion through senior notes. IAC CFO Tom McInerney touted the raise as evidence of health at Interval, HSN and TicketMaster (Lending Tree, the weakest of the units is not incurring any debt, and will in fact be given cash). The announcement has the exact breakdown of debt between each unit. After the dust settles, IAC will have about $1.3 billion to invest internally and in new acquisitions, according to McInerny. Technically, the money will be received upon completing some paperwork and other technicalities over the next several days. Meanwhile, in a new note put out today, Doug Anmuth offered some reactions following meetings with IAC management.

Updated: Yahoo Unveils Proxy Page — In a filing with the SEC, Yahoo notes this morning that it has put up a new proxy page at proxyfacts.yahoo.com with the following banner. It pretty much speaks for itself. Update: Per a separate filing, Jerry Yang even made an internal video for Yahoo touting a full campaign to win the vote: “With one of the largest audiences on the Internet, we’re taking full advantage of the power of our network to remind our stockholders why voting for Carl Icahn’s board of directors is a bad choice.”
Of course, with Legg Mason announcing its support of the incumbents, the company is the favorite to hold on.

Analysts On Google: This Quarter Wasn’t So Bad; Long-Term Outlook Still Strong — We’ll see if Google shares get clipped as badly in today’s trading as they did after hours yesterday… so far it looks like justice may be a bit less severe. Either way, it was not one of its great quarters. The key question: what does it mean for its long-term outlook? Analysts are chiming in with their view, and most remain pretty positive: Doug Anmuth, Lehman: The online ad market is showing cracks, no doubt, between Google, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), ValueClick (NSDQ: VCLK) and BankRate, but Google is in the best position of all. He noted that Google’s income fell short in part due to lower interest income on its cash pile (which was noted in the release and discussed further in the call).

Facebook Sues German Knockoff Site StudiVZ; Will Others Follow? — Updated below: Facebook has finally started taking action against its knockoff sites, and has first sued the one most easily accessible in terms of regulatory laws: it has filed a copyright lawsuit against StudiVZ, a German social network which looks very similar, and accuses it of “copying the look, feel, features and services” of the Facebook site, reports FT. The lawsuit was filed in a California court. It says that any differences between the two sites were “nominal” and accused StudiVZ of merely “replacing Facebook’s blue colour scheme with a red one”. The German company that claims 10 million users and calls itself “the most successful social network in Germany, Austria and Switzerland”. Facebook launched a German version a few months ago, but has struggled to gain traction there, the story says. StudiVZ was bought out by Holtzbrinck group, the German publishing giant, for a reported $112 million late in 2006.

Speculation Continues on Napster’s Fate; Could Be Bought By, Well, Anyone — The speculation about Napster’s fate has been going on ever since it relaunched under the new management, and once again, some new fuel to it: Bloomberg did a piece earlier today, noting that company could become takeover bait for hedge funds as its cash on hand exceeds company’s market cap, with stock continuing to plunge lower and lower (it reached a record-low $1.05 on July 16, but had a run up today becuase of the story). While Napster hasn’t posted a profit in four years, its $69.8 million in cash and inv*stm*nts as of March 31 eclipsed the shares’ $52.1 million value before today, it notes. CEO Chris Gorog has built up cash by slashing sales and marketing expenses by 90 percent to $18 million in the fiscal year ending March, while revenues rose 15 percent to $127.5 million.

ValueClick To Launch Predictive Behavioral Targeting — ValueClick Media, a division of ValueClick, Inc., is expected to announce the launch of its Precision BT suite today at the OMMA Behavioral conference in San Francisco. The suite combines access to anonymous consumer online behavior with a predictive technology to create a scalable behavioral targeting solution available to marketers via two products: Precision Retargeting, an enhanced version of the user retargeting capabilities offered by ValueClick Media since 2005, and Precision Profiles, which uses a proprietary predictive algorithm to identify a marketer’s best prospects in hundreds of consumer interest segments.

AOL Health Adds Content Partners — Expanding its editorial scope, AOL Health has partnered with a trio of health sites to add elder care information, doctor listings and other health-related articles and video. The site’s new content partners include Caring.com, HealthCare.com and Health.com, the online presence of Time Warner’s Health magazine, which will supply articles, quizzes, image galleries and videos.

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