RealNetworks last week acquired Aegisoft, a developer of secure digital media software technologies, in a stock deal worth about $12 million. RealNetworks says Aegisofts Rockville, Md.-based management and technical team will join RealNetworks in Seattle.
EMusic Makes Staff Cuts
EMusic.com, one of the first companies to sell downloadable digital music, laid off 66 employees, or 36 percent of its staff, earlier this month. Those departing the company included three key executives: Joseph Howell, chief financial officer; James Chapman, executive vice president for business development; and Peter Astiz, interim chief operating officer and general counsel. The Redwood City, Calif., company cited Napster and other free MP3-swapping services as hurting its sales; EMusic also has taken a beating from the slump in online advertising.
China Licenses Two Web Sites
Chinas Ministry of Information Industry agency this month granted “Internet content provider” licenses to Sina.com and Sohu.com, two of the most popular Chinese sites. Government rules established last year require Internet companies in China to obtain licenses and actively monitor their sites for “false and harmful” news.
MSNBC.com in The Fast Lane
MSNBC.com has launched HighSpeed.MSNBC.com, a new section of its site optimized for broadband users. HighSpeed.MSNBC will offer more than 60 on-demand video segments daily from CNBC, NBC News, NBC Sports, and MSNBCs cable channel. MSNBC.com says it is launching HighSpeed.MSNBC in response to a nearly fourfold increase in streaming media that users requested during 2000.