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YAHOO and AOL are reportedly close to reaching a merger agreement that would include a search ad deal with Google. Yahoo and Google are already planning a two-week test of such an arrangement, during which Google will serve 3% of Yahoo’s search ads. However, MICROSOFT is trying to sweeten its courtship by bringing NEWS CORP to the table seeking a combined MySpace, MSN and Yahoo. The plot thickens.

VERIZON is suing TIME WARNER CABLE for allegedly using false and misleading statements about FiOS TV to discourage consumers from defecting to the IPTV service. The suit focuses on commercials that infer FiOS TV requires a satellite dish and that TWC has been using fiber optics for longer than Verizon.

BLOCKBUSTER is developing a set-top box that will deliver movies directly to TV sets. The box is believed to be a stand-alone unit that utilizes recently-acquired Movielink. An announcement is expect soon.

MYSPACE TV has signed a TV, DVD and merchandise deal for its content that covers territories outside the US. The rights were picked up by ShineReveille International (of The Shine Group) for an undisclosed sum.

IAC is launching a new slate of niche sites. RushmoreDrive.com is a portal that will target the black community. A new virtual world hosted at Green.com will introduce children to environmental issues. FiLife will focus on personal finance. And a news-junkie site will be created in a partnership with Tina Brown. Each site will have a budget of less than $10 million.

LAST.FM claims that music sales through its AMAZON partnership have increased 119% since the site began offering free streaming music.

THE BBC will brings its popular iPlayer software to the Wii, delivering BBC content through the web to Wii-connected televisions.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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