Ex-Intermix CEO to Pay $750K in Spyware Suit

NEW YORK Brad Greenspan, former CEO of Intermix Media, has agreed to pay a $750,000 fine to settle a spyware suit brought by the New York State attorney general’s office.

The agreement between Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office and Greenspan includes an admission that, under his direction, Intermix purposely intentionally informing consumers that it bundled adware with free Intermix software downloads by burying disclosure in a license agreement. The settlement also states that Intermix intentionally made the advertising programs difficult for users to detect and uninstall.

In a statement, Spitzer said the settlement should be seen as a warning to other Web advertising companies who have engaged in similar practices: “This agreement sends a message that intrusive and deceptive practices will not be tolerated.”

Spitzer filed a lawsuit against Intermix and Greenspan in April under New York’s deceptive practices and false advertising laws.

Spitzer’s office officially announced a settlement of the spyware case with Los Angeles-based Intermix, which had disclosed in June it agreed to pay $7.5 million in penalties and a ban of distributing adware.

News Corp. purchased Intermix, the parent company of social-networking site MySpace, for $580 million in July. Greenspan, who left Intermix in October 2003 but remained a large shareholder, tried unsuccessfully to scuttle the deal, which closed earlier this month.