by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) May 2, 2012
Yahoo! set the stage Wednesday for a battle with an activist investor intent on winning seats on the struggling Internet giant's board of directors.
In a letter to shareholders, Yahoo! said it had been unable to reach a compromise with Daniel Loeb, head of New York-based hedge fund Third Point, who wants a direct hand in running the California company.
"Regrettably, our efforts to avoid a proxy contest with Third Point were unsuccessful," Yahoo! said a letter to stockholders.
"The board continues to believe that Mr. Loeb himself does not bring the relevant skill set and experience to the board, particularly in comparison to the candidates selected by the board."
Yahoo! said that it offered Third Point two seats on the board but would not approve Loeb being one of them. Loeb insisted any compromise include him being appointed to the board, according to Yahoo!.
Loeb owns early six percent of Yahoo! stock. His "Shareholder Slate" of candidates includes himself, Harry Wilson, Michael Wolf, and Jeff Zucker.
"After years of failed leadership and poor governance, Yahoo! shareholders have a chance to inject experienced, independent voices aligned with their interests," Loeb said at a ValueYahoo.com website devoted to his cause.
Yahoo! has yet to announce the timing of its annual meeting of shareholders at which the vote is to take place.
Amazon to launch its own TV comedies, kid shows
The Internet retail giant said its Amazon Studios "is expanding its development efforts into comedy and children's series."
Amazon has already begun creating original TV shows for its online delivery system and the latest announcement expands that to comedy and kids' shows.
"Starting today, series creators are invited to upload their proposals for comedy and children's programming to Amazon Studios at http://studios.amazon.com/getting-started/series," the company said in a statement.
The selected comedy and children's series will be distributed through Amazon Instant Video, Amazon's digital video streaming service.
"Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love," said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. "In the course of developing movies, we've heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children's genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series."
Amazon said it would test one new project per month with an audience and if selected for a full-budget series, the creator will receive a $55,000 payment, up to five percent of Amazon's net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses.
Amazon Studios new series development is led by Joe Lewis, previously with 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central, and Tara Sorensen, formerly with National Geographic Kids.
Amazon Studios launched in November 2010. Since then, more than 700 test movies and 7,000 scripts have been submitted and 15 movie projects are currently under development.
Satellite-based Internet technologies