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October 10, 2006

Hard bargaining at RealNetworks

Posted by Kim Peterson at 2:36 PM

RealNetworks said last month it was acquiring South Korean company WiderThan for $350 million. Today in a regulatory filing it revealed a little of the back-and-forth negotiating over the price, which ended up at $17.05 per common share.

According to the filing, representatives of Real and WiderThan talked by phone on Sept. 9, and WiderThan said it was not pleased with Real's original asking price of $16 per share. WiderThan was hoping for something more in the range of $17.50 a share.

Later, Real said it would go as high as $16.75 a share, but WiderThan was still angling for more, saying its board would not be able to accept such a low price. No deal was reached.

The following day, WiderThan said it would only consider offers above $17 per share. After more discussion, both sides settled on a price tag of $17.05 per share.

WiderThan helps carriers sell ringback tones and full-track music download services. Ringback tones are songs a person hears while waiting for a call to be answered.

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