MySpace To Acquire Social Music StartUp iLike

Social-networking giant MySpace agreed to acquire iLike, a social music startup, as part of its plan to restructure itself after losing momentum and buzz in recent years.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Founded in 2006, iLike quickly became one of the most popular widgets on social sites, such as Facebook, where it has also been the top music application with 10 million active monthly users. The iLike service also has a music download offering as well as other features.

All Things Digital suggested Tuesday that MySpace, a unit of News Corp. (NWS), is paying about $20 million for iLike. About $13.5 million would be paid upfront in cash, with about $8 million of that likely going to one of iLike's major shareholders, Ticketmaster (TKTM), due to its preferred shares.

Another $6 million reportedly has been promised by MySpace in forward payments to retain some key employees, including iLike co-founders and twin brothers Ali and Hadi Partovi. Although those employees can remain in Seattle, where iLike has its headquarters, they must then stay employed at MySpace for 2.5 years to get their money.

MySpace said iLike Chief Executive Ali Partovi, President Hadi Partovi and Chief Technology Officer Nat Brown will remain with the company. The company said users and music artists "should expect the iLike experience to be unaffected by the acquisition." C

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