The social networking site MySpace, hugely successful among teenagers and twentysomethings, is about to become more ubiquitous with the launch of a cellular service that will let users read and post to the site for free.
The service and two accompanying phones will be launched in a few months by Helio LLC, a joint venture of Internet service provider Earthlink Inc. and South Korean carrier SK Telecom Co.
On MySpace, users keep personal pages with journals, communicate with friends and play games. It's a formula that has attracted more than 54-million users and the attention of media conglomerate News Corp., which bought the site last year for $580-million.
"What our target really cares about, this young consumer, is being connected to their friends and being connected to their world," said Sky Dayton, founder of Earthlink and chief executive of Helio, contrasting Helio's idea to that of the major carriers, who are expanding sales of music, videos and games.
An exact launch date was not announced. Nor were prices for the phones and plans, but Dayton said they will not be prepaid. Apart from a monthly fee, access to MySpace will be free.
Redstone son takes family squabble to court
The son of Sumner Redstone, the controlling shareholder of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., is suing his father over what he says is a campaign to cut him out of family business interests.
Brent Redstone, 55, filed the lawsuit last week against National Amusements Inc., a private company that owns 71 percent of the voting stock of CBS and Viacom and more than 1,400 theaters in the United States and overseas.
In the lawsuit, Redstone claimed his father and other directors of National Amusements were trying to "freeze" him out of the company's affairs.
Brent Redstone owns 1/6 of the company, his sister Shari owns 1/6 and their father, Sumner, 82, owns the remaining 2/3 stake. The lawsuit places the fair market value of the company at $8-billion.
National Amusements issued a statement calling the lawsuit "meritless" and its allegations "completely unfounded." It also said it was "unfortunate that Brent Redstone is abusing the court system in an attempt to extract a financial settlement in a family dispute."
Information from the Associated Press and Bloomberg News was used in this report.
Helio's two phones, dubbed "Hero," left, and "Kickflip," right, will be based on Korean designs. Made by Pantech and VK Mobile, the phones will feature large color screens and cameras, but no QWERTY keyboards.