RealNetworks Inc. was to announce the launch of a new online music service, the latest challenge to Apple Computer's iTunes. RealOne Rhapsody is being offered jointly with Listen.com of San Francisco, which RealNetworks agreed to buy last month for $36 million. For a $9.95 monthly fee, subscribers will be able to download songs for 79 cents a track, compared with 99 cents for iTunes songs. Apple does not charge a subscription fee. RealNetworks is based in Seattle.
Communications giant Telefónica SA bid $2 billion for majority control of Terra Lycos, its competitor in the Internet market in Spain. But reports said the offer is contingent on acquiring at least 75 percent of the latter; Telefónica already owns 37 percent. Despite efforts to expand its services and entertainment options, Terra Lycos has had trouble selling advertising and is unprofitable, the reports said.
Two thousand new jobs are expected to be added to the work force at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, which already is one of the world's largest, reports said. Bloomberg.com said the owner, Kerzner International Ltd., won approval from the Bahamas government to expand the sprawling facility from 2,300 rooms to 3,500 and to add four more restaurants, plus convention space, time-share suites, an expanded water park, and an 18-hole golf course. In return, the government agreed to provide airport and access-road improvements, fire and emergency services on Paradise Island, and an 11-year extension of the casino tax concessions that Atlantis previously won. The expansion is to cost $600 million and be completed by 2007.