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Media News: Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users


Also, Sprint passes on MetroPCS and Google calls a truce with publishers.

This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on media this week.

Wall Street Journal Speakeasy
Link: Facebook Hits 1 Billion Users, Mark Zuckerberg Does 'Today'
"Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on NBC's Today as the company announced that it has reached 1 billion monthly active users.

"On 'Today' this morning, Zuckerberg was asked whether he was still learning his job as he goes. 'I take the responsibility extremely seriously,' he answered.

"He was also asked by Matt Lauer why, with all those users, the company wasn't 'killing it' in terms of making money. 'I think it depends on your definition of killing it,' Zuckerberg said. 'We are making billions of dollars.'"

Link: Google and Book Publishers Settle Book Scanning Lawsuit
"Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has reached a deal to end its long-running court fight with major publishing houses over the company's controversial decision to scan the world's library books.

"In a joint statement released this morning, Google and the Association of American Publishers said they have formally resolved a copyright lawsuit that began in 2005. The deal will allow publishers to use books scanned by Google as they see fit - making them available for sale or withholding them."

Digital Music News
Link: Songwriters May Never See a Dime From Apple's New Music Service
"If Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants to launch their much anticipated, Pandora (NYSE:P)-like music service, they must negotiate directly with Sony (NYSE:SNE)/ATV for public performance rights. That's the word on the street, and if true, a dangerous turn of events. The reason is that until recently, performing rights organizations -- ASCAP, BMI and SESAC -- offered blanket licenses on behalf of almost all the publishers, including all the majors. This dramatically changes that, with negative repercussions for songwriters.

"So why is Sony/ATV -- now the largest publisher after taking over the administration of EMI Music Publishing -- doing this? After chatting with Marty Bandier, the company's chairman, the New York Times reported that this is 'simply an effort to obtain a higher royalty rate for [Sony/ATV] writers.'"

Link: MetroPCS Is Off the Table. What Now, Sprint?
"With its acquisition of MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS), T-Mobile and its parent, Deutsche Telekom (ETR:DTE), have taken out one tough rival and put the competitive screws to another: Sprint (NYSE:S).

"Earlier this year, Sprint was poised to acquire MetroPCS, when the company's board of directors balked at the deal at the last minute. Though fully negotiated, the board opted to walk away, rather than sign. So Sprint forfeited its chance to claim MetroPCS's spectrum and 9.3 million customers."

New York Times Bits
Link: Carol Bartz on the Yahoo Board That Fired Her and Advice for Marissa Mayer
"If Carol Bartz, the former chief executive of Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), could go back in time, she would have changed one thing about her relationship with the board that fired her by phone last year.

"Ms. Bartz would have spent more time understanding the relationships between the board members, she said Tuesday at Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif."
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