... worth noting 21.5.03



:: Online music subscription service EMusic has signed a distribution deal with UK-based Beggars Group to expand the range of music offered on its Web site. Emusic is hoping the partnership will enable it to add more than 300 new titles from nine high-profile UK labels, which will be available from this month.

:: MmO2 has admitted that its third-generation licences are worth nearly £6bn less than it paid for them and announced it had made a pre-tax loss of £10.2bn. The mobile operator has slashed the amount that it values its 3G licences, which cover Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, by £5.9bn. It now believes its UK 3G licence is worth just £2bn having paid just over £4bn for it in the 2000 auction.

:: Apple is preparing to open its first retail outlet outside the US in a expansion of its bricks and mortar presence. The Mac maker plans to open 20 stores in the next 12 months.

:: Pay-per-click advertising network Espotting has announced a significant expansion to its contextual advertising deal with Kelkoo to cover a total of 30 channels in four European countries. Under the new deal, Espotting will supply its top five results as 'Top Sponsored Picks' on Kelkoo categories with keywords corresponding to the relevant channels.

:: Fish4.co.uk has announced plans to invest £3m in a new venture, backed by Associated New Media, which has been set up with the aim of creating industry standard technology for powering online classified ads in Europe. The joint venture, called FinnTech, will deliver technology developed specifically for European newspaper publishers that run classified Web sites.

:: The Lloyds of London insurance exchange is spending £20m on an online platform that will enable brokers and underwriters to transfer and analyse risk data for policies electronically. Lloyds has been working on the project since 2001 and is set to launch 'Kinnect' as a commercial venture in the third quarter of this year. It will sell the service to insurance brokers in the commercial lines - corporate risk - sector in the UK and US.