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MySpace could acquire once white-hot music service iLike today — and, then again, it might not. TechCrunch had a just-about-done deal yesterday for $20 million and a source told us it would be higher than that but Kara Swisher reports that the offer which she pegs at $13.5 million in cash now and $6 million to keep talent — hinges right now on how the compensation for founders Ali and Hadi Partovi and other key employees will be taxed. According to Kara, a meeting scheduled to review the offer Monday night was canceled because of the tax issue.
If and when it goes through, one certain detail is it won’t be for the kind of money investors thought iLike would command when the company was attached at the hip to Facebook’s meteoric rise. It claims 50 million users but has yet to fulfill the financial promise Ticketmaster saw when it invested $13.3 million for a stake in the company, then a spinoff from Garageband.com, back in late 2006. Ticketmaster, which wrote down the investment by $5.8 million in Q408, could get the bulk of any upfront cash payment. Garageband earlier attracted $2.5 million from investors including Bob Pittman, who is on the advisory board of iLike, and Herb Allen III of Allen & Coompany, which is now helping the Partovis sell.
One more certainty: MySpace would be getting a serious talent infusion with the addition of the Partovis to the triad of Owen Van Natta, Mike Jones and Jason Hirshhorn plus some good tech. Whether they can make a difference — and whether the Fox Interactive Media (NYSE: NWS) company can sustain that many entrepreneurial egos in one place — is a whole new guessing game. Kara says the deal requires them to stay for 2.5 years to get their full payment. How many of you think anyone mentioned in this paragraph will still be there in 2013?