Sirius Searches for Successor and 4 Media Titans Make Waves

AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL): Yesterday, a jury in U.S. District Court located in Norfolk, Virginia made a decision in favor of Vringo (AMEX:VRNG) in its litigation against AOL, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), IAC Search & Media, (NASDAQ:IACI), Gannett (NYSE:GCI), and Target (NYSE:TGT) with respect to the defendants’ infringement of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,314,420 and 6,775,664. After discovering that the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit were both valid, and infringed upon by Google, the jury decided that reasonable royalty damages are to be based on a “running royalty,” and that the running royalty rate is to be 3.5 percent. Also, the jury ruled that $30.5 million in cash from Google, AOL, IAC, Gannett, and Target would be proper compensation to Vringo for past infringement. Andrew Perlman, who is CEI of Vringo, stated, “We are pleased with the fact that the jury found our patents valid and infringed, and that the defendants should pay a running royalty rate of 3.5 percent. Yesterday’s verdict was an important milestone in demonstrating the value of our intellectual property portfolio. We look forward to continue to build shareholder value through the monetization of our assets.”

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX): Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) began to offer some users membership to its subscription-based shipping and streaming service for a monthly fee, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, the company markets Prime for $7.99 per month, which is identical to monthly subscription Netflix charges.

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Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) began the installation of refrigerator-sized utility boxes in Washington, D.C.’s historic Georgetown neighborhood, which has caused a backlash from a few residents. The local newspaper The Georgetown Dish elaborated upon the dispute about the green utility boxes on Wednesday, and the piece included a photo of a box that was placed upon a sidewalk made of paving stones. Comcast had started to install the utility boxes last month.

DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV): Two sources claim that Vivendi (VIVHY) hopes to raise a minimum of 7 billion euro, or $8.9 billion, when it sells its GVT unit, according to Reuters. Sources claim that the company is considering preliminary offers from at least four bidders, which includes DirecTV, America Movil (NYSE:AMX), and Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI).

SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI): Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei stated that the search for Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) CEO Mel Karmazin’s replacement has the possibility of extending well into next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Maffei stated that the company is looking at internal and external candidates. Karmazin intends to to depart on February 1.

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