MP3.COM STOCK YO-YO

Not Nearly As Popular A Gift As A Razor Scooter
Like a check from an indie concert promoter, MP3 stock has been bouncing up and down of late. Today it was on the down slope, mirroring the tech sector as a whole as the Nasdaq hit a year-low. Just after the court-ordered settlement in the MP3.com-Universal legal entanglement, the music portal's stock was on a rise—hitting its recent peak of more than $10 last Friday (11/17).

Last week, MP3 was ordered to pay a sum of $53.4 million to UMG for copyright infringement of the record label's catalog. Additionally, MP3 now has license to Universal songs and the label has the option to buy up to 5% of shares in MP3.com at a later date. Upon the resolution came an additional licensing agreement with Tommy Boy and a long awaited sigh from investors, as MP3.com stock rose sharply.

But that may have been just the dot-com before another storm.

With the court-ordered payout, additional legal woes have sprung up, presumably causing the latest MP3 stock down strokes. Because UMG was awarded more than double that granted to record companies that previously settled over the same charge, MP3 may soon face additional law suits by the other four major labels and Sony and Warner have already formally requested similar terms to UMG's.

MP3.com's VP of Investor Relations Karen Silva commented early this week, however, "We believe there's definitely no issue here." But that hasn't given investors any confidence. What appears to be an extension to MP3's copyright battle has investors a bit jittery and unloading shares.

MP3.com stock closed at $6 today, down $1.31 on a volume of 2.56 million shares.

On Tuesday (11/21), Alanis Morissette filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission giving notice of her plan to sell common stock valued at $433,090. She acquired the shares in April 1999, and has already sold 189,328 shares valued at $1,529,700 in the last three months.

MP3.com has a consulting arrangement with Morissette's artist management group Atlas/Third Rail Management Inc.

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