Apple has agreed to a preliminary settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company failed to properly notify parents when their kids made iTunes purchases. The settlement, which was due to be presented to a federal court judge on March 1 for approval, could result in refunds to as many as 23 million people. It could also affect how Apple handles in-app purchasing, a key revenue generator for many iOS applications. "We'd like to think that our actions already had a hand in forcing Apple to make a number of changes," says Michael Boni, a partner at Boni & Zach, which represents some of the plaintiffs in the cases filed between April and May 2011. "When we filed our lawsuit, and consistently thereafter, Apple has made a number of improvements to its system of in-app purchases."
Accessibility and affordability were key factors that led to a location change for Metallica's second Orion Music + More festival. Though last year's inaugural event in Atlantic City, N.J., was deemed a success, C3 partner Charlie Walker says there were shortcomings that resulted in the shift to Detroit's Belle Isle on June 8 and 9. Headliners this year include Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bassnectar and Silversun Pickups. "We've always had Belle Isle on the list. We just never had quite the right show to go there," Walker says. Organizers also expect Detroit to be somewhat easier to get to for those who are traveling, expected to be half of all 40,000 hoped-for attendees. The city is served by its own airport as well as by those nearby in Flint, Mich.; Toledo, Ohio; and Windsor, Ontario. Walker also expects things to be a bit more affordable for the audience. "In Atlantic City, because of the sheer number of casinos, it was difficult for us to get affordable hotel rooms for the audience," Walker says.
The abrupt resignation of James Dolan, executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Co. and president/CEO of MSG owner Cablevision, from the Live Nation board of directors is connected to Dolan's relationship with former Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, who himself resigned from his position atop the company on New Year's Eve, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. Dolan and Azoff are close friends, and Azoff even manages Dolan's band, J.D. & the Straight Shots. Neither Live Nation nor Dolan's office would comment on the resignation. "He's Irving's guy," a source says of Dolan. "The relationship was always with Irving, not the people at Live Nation." As of now, the status of MSG's minority stake in Live Nation--3.9 million shares, representing about 2% of the company's stock, according to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Ben Mogil--is unclear. Live Nation revenue grew 8.1% to $5.8 billion and adjusted operating income rose 4.8% to $459 million in 2012. It achieved its goals of growing concert attendance, ticket sales and sponsorship and advertising revenue. Yet its financial statements showed more red ink. Live Nation's 2012 net loss nearly doubled to $163 million from $83 million in 2011 due to a one-time charge from Azoff's departure.