Daily Links 9/1/2011: Comcast-NBCU deal wins Court approval

Comcast-NBC Universal Merger Wins Approval (Bloomberg)

Netflix Loses Starz Deal, Stock Crushed In After Hours Trading (Silicon Alley Insider)

Urban Outfitters prepares to grow online (Internet Retailer)

Urban Outfitters and WebLinc launch shopterrain.com (WebLinc Blog)

Salesforce.com Gets Into ERP With Infor, Workday (PC World)

Salesforce Chief Calls Accounting Criticisms "Ludicrious" (Silicon Alley Insider)

T-Mobile Antitrust Challenge Leaves AT&T With Little Recourse on Takeover (Bloomberg)


Judge throws out $1.3 billion verdict against SAP in Oracle case

Judge throws out $1.3 billion verdict in Oracle case against SAP (San Jose Mercury News)

Judge Throws Out $1.3 Billion Judgment Against SAP as “Grossly Excessive”
(All Things Digital)
More details, including text of Judge's decision and statements from SAP and Oracle.

As AOL explores options, where will MapQuest end up?

Tom Paine

Word that AOL has retained investment banking firm Allen & Co. and law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to help it explore strategic alternatives has led to a good deal of speculation about its future.

Part of that speculation centers around what will happen to MapQuest. The company, which grew out of RR Donnelley's Cartographic Services unit in Lancaster before being spun out, dominated the early days of Internet map search and was acquired by AOL for $1.1 billion in stock in 1999. After Google entered the market in 2005, it stole a large percentage of consumer eyeballs away from MapQuest, passing it in traffic in 2009. MapQuest, though, still has some excellent technology and important third-party relationships and ranked as the 22nd busiest site on the Web in March of this year, according to Compete.

For several years MapQuest maintained co-headquarters in Denver and Lancaster; it now refers to Lancaster as "its second largest office after Denver and an engineering centric office or branch", according to a MapQuest spokesperson responding to a question from Philly Tech News, who also said it was AOL policy not to comment on the number of employees at any location.

Much of the current thinking on AOL centers on it going the private equity route, with the PE acquirer under that scenario then determining which pieces to keep or dispose. Many see MapQuuest as a candidate to be spun off if that where to happen. AOL does not break out MapQuest's financial results; it currently reports under the Huffington Post Media Group, headed up by Arianna Huffington. Huffington has promoted MapQuest heavily, getting a sarcastic response from fellow AOler Michael Arrington. While there is an argument that MapQuest fits with AOL's Patch local news network, others disagree with that.