Best Buy Snags Napster


Amidst the turmoil of Wall St, Best Buy has purchased beleaguered music downloading service, Napster. What will they do with it? I suppose your guess is as good as mine. If it were me, I’d kill the Napster name altogether (in reality, it all but died the first time they were shut down) and just use the technology to create the “Best Buy Music/Media Store”.

The deal is almost a rounding error for a company of Best Buy’s size. The stated price is $121 million. But since Napster has $67 million in cash, the effective cost to Best Buy is $54 million. That is still a good deal for Napster’s shareholders because Best Buy will pay $2.65 per share, nearly double its closing price Friday. []

As Drake pointed out to me privately and the New York Times piece also mentions, the purchase is interesting because Best Buy currently offers a co-branded version of Rhapsody, Real Networks’ music subscription service. Strategically, it probably doesn’t make sense to offer two competing services that basically do the same thing, but really, what do I know.