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Bertelsmann Broadband Group has bought a 10% stake in TV and Net shopping site HomeNet GmbH in hopes of combining interactive TV and e-commerce.
NEWS FOR NET-WITS
All We Got For Christmas Was This Tech Roundup

MP3.COM OFFERS MADONNA FOR XMAS… NOT THE VIRGIN, THOUGH
Though we really wanted a Razor scooter, MP3.com has decided to play Santa and instead offer its users free streaming tracks from Madonna and Faith Hill. Two tracks from each artist were featured in an e-mail sent to registrants and are available on the netco's site. "Our users have shown great faith in climbing a steep hill of new technology through the past year, and we are pleased to be able to work with the music industry to bring them this holiday gift," said MP3.com President and COO Robin Richards. "And we're hoping there's one special user out there who can lay $53.4 million on us for the holidays."

BERTELSMANN GETS A BIT HOMELY
Bertelsmann Broadband Group
, the digital TV arm of Bertelsmann AG, has bought a 10% stake in TV and Net shopping site HomeNet GmbH in hopes of combining interactive TV and e-commerce, according to German weekly Welt am Aonntag. Having emerged as the ostensible savior of Napster, Bertie is now evidently close to developing technology that will allow the online swapping of bedazzled jean-jackets.

MCY.COM'S CONCERT CONSORTIUM
Digital-entertainment company MCY.com has sealed a deal to distribute music events starring NSYNC, Sammy Hagar, Peter Townshend and Steel Pulse. MCY manages entertainment rights including TV pay-per-view, DVD and digital media, and has now syndicated worldwide DVD and broadcast rights to Hagar's "Cabo Wabo Birthday Bash" concert to DVD distributor Image Entertainment. Additionally, MCY licensed digital broadcasts of NSYNC's "No Strings Attached" tour and performances from Townshend and Steel Pulse to ZapMedia. Oddly, the company has shown no interest in licensing or distributing Roy Trakin's "performance" at the HITS holiday party.

MUSIC.COM AQUIRES TASTE FOR ASIAN
Music.com announced its acquisition of Asian music destination Xudio.com today. The Singapore-based music site will now become Music.com Asia, providing its new parent company with direct access to the Asian market. The new Web site will gradually take on the look of Music.com, but will still be offered in eight languages and cover thirteen countries, including Australia, China, Japan and the Philippines. Said one Music.com executive, "Damn, I'd better try to learn some of these languages or something... after I finish this game of Defender."

TOP ARBITRON WEB CHANNELS NOTHING BUT NET
Internet radio company NetRadio is tooting its horn after capturing the top three spots in Arbitron's September webcasting report. Netradio also scored seven of the Top 10  positions and 12 of the Top 25 channels in the recently released report. Its programmed Internet-only audio entertainment is webcast 24 hours a day. Scoring the #1 slot was NetRadio channel "80s Hits." In a related story, the phrase "President-elect George W. Bush" still sounds really creepy.

THEY STAYED FOR THE CHEAP CHAMPAGNE
How does the French Communist Party party? Techno, baby! To celebrate their 80th anniversary, French Communists grooved at a futuristic rave hoping to lure a youthful element. The plan should work perfectly, since rave culture's self-indulgent, image-obsessed, drug-addled sensibility is a natural fit with a critique of market-dominated modern culture and commodity fetishism. "It's terrific—perhaps we'll do it with accordions another time, but techno music is great," said Party Leader Robert Hue. "And wait until you check out the 'Booty-Rock Ultramegadub Remix' of 'Das Kapital.'"

FANS WILLING AND ABEL TO RALLY ROUND THE WEEKND
Dept. of unintended consequences (12/1a)
VAUGHN'S FIRST MOVE: MATTERA TO THE TOWER
A company with no corner offices (12/1a)
U.K. MEET THE MANAGERS
Who's hot in Blighty? (12/1a)
RON PERRY: SUPERCHARGING THE BIG RED MACHINE
Hoodie man doin' work (12/1a)
SPOTIFY GIFT-WRAPS
THE YEAR IN MUSIC
How Swede it is. (12/1a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
ZOOM THANKSGIVING
We're virtually stuffing ourselves.
TRUMP'S LAWSUITS
He's lost 25 out of 26, and so tired of winning!
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