Nokia today announced that it will pay $60m to acquire Loudeye, a developer of digital music platform and media distribution technology.
Loudeye operates 60 live services in over 20 countries and multiple languages across Europe and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It aggregates rights and content from all the major music labels and independents and currently offers licensed catalogue and complete media for over 1.6 million tracks. Customers include MSN, Tiscali and NTL.
According to the Scandinavian mobile giant, the purchase will allow it to offer consumers a "comprehensive mobile music experience".
Nokia said it sold more than 15 million music-enabled handsets in the second quarter, making it the world's largest manufacturer of digital music players.
"Music is a key experience for Nokia and Nokia Nseries multimedia computers and we want to be able to offer the best fully integrated mobile music experience to our customers. Loudeye brings a number of key assets to Nokia, including a great team of people, a substantial content catalogue and a robust service platform that will help us to achieve this objective," said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager, Multimedia, Nokia.
"People should be able to access all the music they want, anywhere, anytime and at a reasonable cost. With this acquisition, we aim to deliver that vision and a comprehensive music experience to Nokia device owners during 2007."
Under the terms of the agreement, Loudeye shareholders will receive $4.50 per share in cash for each share of Loudeye common stock. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2006. Closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions, including approval of Loudeye's stockholders and regulatory approvals.
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