Spotify Ltd., getting a jump on Internet radio leader Pandora Media Inc., is close to agreements with record labels to offer free online mobile radio outside the U.S., said three people with knowledge of the talks.
Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype Technologies SA, is backing a startup called FreedomPop that plans to offer free basic wireless service for laptops and smartphones, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Skype and Kazaa founder Niklas Zennstrom became famous building free Web services with scores of users and little revenue. As an investor, he shuns such ventures to buy stakes in startups with clearer business plans.
Skype Technologies SA’s owners refused to entertain offers of less than $7 billion, the value they expected the startup to get from a planned initial public offering, before agreeing to a buyout from Microsoft Corp., according to people with knowledge of the talks.