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Friday, April 18, 2008

LiveVideo Parent Company LiveUniverse Acquires Pageflakes

image LiveUniverse, the social entertainment company founded and run by Chairman and CEO Brad Greenspan, the Hollywood-based entrepreneur and sole founder of MySpace, announced today that it has agreed to acquire Pageflakes, the innovator of the social personalized homepage. The transaction was a combination of cash and stock, but further terms are not being disclosed by the two privately-held companies. LiveUniverse will also provide several million dollars of online promotion from the over 35 websites that make up its network.

The initial integration with Pageflakes will be with LiveUniverse’s rapidly expanding video entertainment network, LiveVideo, the Web’s ultimate social networking, video entertainment, and interactive LiveShow platform. Users will now be able to easily remix and mashup their LiveVideo videos, photos, music, blogs and LiveShows with compelling interactive content from their favorite sites on the Web on their own LiveVideo start page. Users can also then “Pagecast” (share and publish) these pages within their LiveVideo social network or to everyone on the Web. Pageflakes technology will make it even easier for LiveVideo users to personalize the look, feel, and layout of their profiles and their video, photo, music, blog and LiveShow channels. Advertisers and promoters will also be able to use this new platform to feature brands, celebrities, and events by creating unique branded sites with interactive content that users can view, copy and share.

The acquisition combines one of the fastest-growing global media companies with Pageflakes’ industry-leading personalization, widget and content aggregation technologies. The deal is highly complementary for both companies in terms of talent, technology and operations. It brings together Internet visionary, social networking pioneer and entrepreneur Brad Greenspan, with veteran ex-Google and Yahoo executive, entrepreneur and personalization expert Dan Cohen. The technology and R&D teams will now also include the original MySpace architect and technology entrepreneur Toan Nguyen, as well as AJAX and ASP.NET guru and Pageflakes co-founder Omar Al-Zabir. Both companies share a technology platform based on ASP.NET, which will speed integration and result in economies of scale. Further, LiveUniverse will now have operations in the technology capital of the world, Silicon Valley, in addition to its headquarters in Hollywood and its offices in Europe and Asia. LiveUniverse comprises over 35 global entertainment sites and is visited by over 50 million users each month.

“We’ve found incredible synergies between the two companies, so joining together was simply inevitable,” said Brad Greenspan, Chairman, CEO and founder of LiveUniverse. “LiveVideo has been growing explosively by giving users the most compelling and interactive entertainment experience. Pageflakes offers LiveVideo and other LiveUniverse sites the ability to blaze new trails in the industry and create even greater opportunities for both consumers and advertisers.”

“Pageflakes redefined the personalized homepage by making it an easy-to-use social experience that anyone can use and share,” said Dan Cohen, CEO of Pageflakes. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Brad and LiveUniverse to reach millions of new users, as well as provide unique content and features to our current user community. The combination of our two companies is truly much bigger than the sum of its parts, and the resulting innovation will be highly compelling for our users and partners.”

Upon closing the transaction, Pageflakes Inc. will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of LiveUniverse and remain based in San Francisco. Pageflakes CEO Dan Cohen will stay in his current role, and in addition will assume expanded duties as Senior Vice President of LiveUniverse reporting directly to CEO Brad Greenspan.

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