IQ News: bits

America Online, Dulles, Va., last week acquired Net radio company Spinner.com and technology company Nullsoft, maker of the MP3 player Winamp and MP3 streaming audio system SHOUTcast. The stock-for-stock transaction is valued at approximately $400 million. Following the acquisition, Hollywood, Calif.-based music software developer PlayMedia settled its $20 million lawsuit against Nullsoft, which will move its operations from Sedona, Ariz. to San Francisco when it merges with Spinner.com.
Online Brokerage E*Trade, Palo Alto, Calif., will merge with virtual bank TeleBanc Financial, Arlington, Va., for about $1.8 billion. E*Trade will pay 2.1 of its shares for each of TeleBanc’s, valuing the company at $93.45 a share.
CondeNet, New York, last week expanded its personal health service PHYS.com to include Pregnancy Phys, a section devoted to pregnancy, fitness and nutrition. The launch of Pregnancy Phys will be supported by a $3 million print, online, radio and TV advertising campaign. Advertisers participating in the launch include Procter & Gamble, Mother Nature Vitamins, Chevy Blazer, Johnson & Johnson and Bantam Books.
La Jolla, Calif.-based Jenny Craig will sponsor several areas of San Mateo, Calif.-based Women.com Networks’ site, including health, food and fashion. Both will develop cross-links and branded promotional programming. Jenny Craig-branded merchandise will be available through Women.com’s Shopping Channel.
Ralston Purina Company, St. Louis, will be an exclusive sponsor in the pet food and cat box filler manufacturer category of LifeMinders Pet, a content area off LifeMinders.com. Ralston Purina Pet Products will utilize Herndon, Va.-based LifeMinders.com’s member base for online direct marketing initiatives. LifeMinders Pet, meanwhile, will feature pet health and nutrition information along with links to content on Purina’s portfolio of Web sites including dogchow.com, catchow.com and puppyplace.com, and other pre-selected online and offline pet resources.
New York-based Rare Medium Group’s liveuniverse.com content subsidiary said it will acquire MP3Now.com, MP3place.net and Regards.com. Terms were not disclosed. The MP3 sites will anchor live-universe.com’s new music community site. Regards.com, a greeting card site, allows users to send customized e-mail cards.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill., inked a two-year, multimillion-dollar agreement to advertise across Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft’s MSN network of Internet services. (Sears becomes the largest advertiser on the MSN HomeAdvisor online real estate service.) The marketing program includes banners, fixed placements, sponsorships and promotional ads across MSN sites.
Yahoo!, Santa Clara, Calif., was busy last week. The portal said it will acquire Online Anywhere, Palo Alto, Calif., a back-end technology that will allow Yahoo! to be accessed from cell phones, PDAs, Web TV, and other devices. Meanwhile Yahoo! completed its acquisition of personal home page site GeoCities, Santa Monica, Calif. and inked a deal with Sprint, Kansas City, Mo., to deliver Yahoo! Internet services to Sprint PCS wireless subscribers using Sprint PCS phones. In the works for fourth quarter: a range of co-branded services, such as personalized content, e-mail, calendar and address book functions, plus the ability to connect directly to Sprint PCS’ Web site for account information and purchases. Finally, banners and button advertisements touting San Francisco-based Petstore.com’s Doorstep Delivery service will appear in Yahoo!’s community areas, and as a front page promotion. Petstore.com will also use e-mail marketing vehicles Yahoo! Delivers and Yahoo! Welcome.
ICanBuy.com, San Francisco, which teaches kids and teens to shop online, launched WishList, a gift registry, allowing users to choose from products offered by the site, put them into a password-protected WishList, then give family and friends the password. Gift-givers can make deposits via credit card into an iCanBuy account. Retail partners include Outpost.com, Whutever.com, BuyCurious, 999 Software and Imagine Media.