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Nokia Acquires Digital Music Service Loudeye

8 Aug, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia Aug. 8 announced it had agreed to buy Seattle-based digital music service Loudeye for $60 million in cash.

Under terms of the deal, Loudeye shareholders would receive $4.50 for each share of common stock. The news sent Loudeye shares up more than 145% or $2.57 per share to $4.33 in midday trading.

Nokia, which sold more than 15 million music-enabled cell phones in the second quarter (ended June 30) and expects to sell 80 million by the end of the fiscal year, said it would offer Loudeye's 1.6 million catalog song tracks to its N-series phones that feature both MP3 and Apple's and Windows' audio formats.

Loudeye, which employs 130 people, aggregates music rights and content from the major record labels and independents to more than 60 digital music services in 20 countries.

“People should be able to access all the music they want, anywhere, anytime and at a reasonable cost,” said Anssi Vanjoki, EVP and GM of multimedia for Nokia. “With this acquisition, we aim to deliver that vision and a comprehensive music experience to Nokia device owners during 2007.”

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