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January 31, 2006

No Google-Napster deal, but don't tell Wall Street

Posted by Kim Peterson at 11:29 AM

Napster's stock has jumped today on rumors that the company would be acquired by Google. The hullaballoo comes from a New York Post story (reg. required) that Google is considering an "extensive alliance" with Napster that might include an outright acquisition.

Both companies are in full denial about an acquisition. "The company is not looking to be sold, the management is not looking to step out. It's simply not true," a Napster spokesman told Reuters on Jan. 23.

Google's statement is even more direct: "No, we have no plans at this time to develop a music store, or to compete with existing online and offline music retailers," the company said to Times Online.

But Napster's stock price is up nearly 20 percent in trading today anyway.

Neither company disputed the "extensive alliance" that the Post story alluded to. Such a deal would likely not go over well at Microsoft, which has been a longtime partner for Napster.

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