New York media correspondent Kenneth Li reports:
So persuasive a deal maker was Joanna Shields, who talked Time Warner’s AOL into paying close to $1bn to buy out the UK-based social network, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher once joked that Ms Shields could sell Obama’s stimulus package to the Republicans.
But the astronomical figure for a web property perceived to be hot among British teenagers, although lagging behind Facebook and MySpace in the US drew enough criticism internally that even Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner chief executive, admitted last year it may have overpaid.
Mark Zuckerberg was doing his best today to disclaim any interest in the $10bn headline valuation that Russian investment group DST has just put on his company. But the headline numbers have certainly been of great interest to Facebook over the years, and this one is too: it appears in the first line of the news release announcing the deal.
What exactly does that $10bn figure mean, though? One thing’s clear: it isn’t the valuation Facebook employees or other early investors will see when they get a chance to sell some of their stock this summer.
Nokia’s response to Apple’s mobile applications marketplace has finally launched in a blaze of publicity – but hardly the kind the Finnish device maker can have hoped for.
Nokia announced the Ovi store in Barcelona in February, although its Ovi internet services brand has been around since August 2007. Clearly it has built up more anticipation than it could handle, as the “extraordinarily high spikes of traffic” caused the site to crash soon after opening. Even after downloading the Ovi software, some users reported seeing a limited selection of applications available in the store.
Jonathan Miller has had a busy couple of months. First, the former AOL chief executive was appointed to run digital operations at News Corp, effectively becoming Rupert Murdoch’s most trusted lieutenant when it comes to the internet.
While Mr Miller fine tunes News Corp’s online strategy and plots a new future for its MySpace social network – one that does not include recently departed chief executive Chris DeWolfe – he has also been busy with a couple of personal projects.
Chief among these is OpenX, an online ad server for web publishers. Mr Miller is the company’s non-executive chairman and recently contributed to a third round fund-raising which generated a total of $10m.