Viacom Eyes Last.fm, Considers Buyout, Sources

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Media behemoth Viacom is now eyeing music-focused recommendation and social networking play Last.fm, according to various sources.

“Viacom is quietly but urgently trying to do as much due diligence as possible to make a bid,” one executive source told Digital Music News on Thursday.  “[Viacom chairman] Sumner [Redstone] doesn’t want to miss another big social play.”  Elsewhere, a possible purchase price of $450 million is being tossed around, thanks to a recent report by self-described Wall Street tabloid DealBreaker.com.  The rumblings follow a period of internal friction at Viacom following the purchase of MySpace by News Corp., a $580 million deal announced in July, 2005.  That purchase price, now considered a steal, was quickly recouped following a lucrative advertising deal involving Google.  The missed opportunity was widely believed to the a chief reason for the dismissal of Viacom chief executive Tom Freston, a well-revered, longtime veteran at MTV Networks.