FINANCE

Netflix 2Q Profit Up

BY CSA STAFF

Los Gatos, Calif. Netflix Inc.’s second-quarter profit edged up 4%, beating analyst expectations as the online DVD-rental leader signed up 168,000 new customers while spending less money to attract them to the service.

The company said Friday that it earned $26.6 million, up from $25.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue climbed 11% to $337.6 million to match analyst estimates. The company ended June with 8.4 million subscribers.

Netflix boosted its profit margin largely by trimming its marketing expenses by $5 million, or 11% from the same time last year. Despite the cutback, Netflix had far more success luring new subscribers than last year when it lost 55,000 customers—the only quarter that the company’s service has shrunk during its 9-year history.

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Hasbro files infringement suit against the creators of Facebook’s ‘Scrabulous’

BY CSA STAFF

PAWTUCKET, R.I. In another infringement case involving the toy industry, Hasbro has filed suit against the creators of the Scrabulous game application, which it claims infringes on its SCRABBLE intellectual property rights. Hasbro also has delivered a notification of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Facebook, which hosts the Scrabulous game, requesting that it remove the application in the U.S. and Canada as soon as possible.

The suit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York earlier today, names Scrabulous creators, Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla, and RJ Softwares as the defendants.

“Hasbro has an obligation to act appropriately against infringement of our intellectual properties,” said Barry Nagler, Hasbro’s general counsel. “We view the Scrabulous application as clear and blatant infringement of our SCRABBLE intellectual property, and we are pursuing this legal action in accordance with the interests of our shareholders, and the integrity of the SCRABBLE brand.”

Hasbro has a strategic alliance with Electronic Arts to create digital games based on Hasbro’s intellectual properties. As part of this alliance, EA launched a legitimate version of SCRABBLE for Facebook earlier this month, which is the start of many Hasbro game properties slated to launch on social networking sites later this year.

“Hasbro and Electronic Arts are very pleased to offer fans an authentic SCRABBLE experience on Facebook, which is complementary to EA’s full-range of SCRABBLE offerings–from the cell phone, to the iPod and now, social networking,” said Mark Blecher, gm of Hasbro digital media and gaming. “Hasbro and EA have worked diligently to provide a great game play experience on Facebook, and we are confident that fans of the game will welcome a genuine experience highlighted by top-of-the-line graphics, strong technical support and of course, classic SCRABBLE game play.”

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Education expert helps ODP go back to school

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot has enlisted the help of author and education expert, Dr. Michele Borba, to help its consumers get the most out of their back-to-school shopping. In addition the company is offering a new online resource called “Taking Care of You for School: Tips for Making Back to School Cool and Affordable,” which features smart shopping tactics parents can implement to get their kids the cool and stylish products that they want, and also stay within their budgets.

Kids will love the great assortment of trendy, must-have fashionable products at Office Depot, including exclusive designs not found anywhere else, said Dr. Michele Borba, author and parenting advisor for Office Depot. And, parents will love Office Depot because it is a one-stop shopping destination for all school supplies and has guaranteed low pricing. 

Office Depot has also launched a dedicated site for back-to-school season at www.school.com, which features tips from Dr. Borba, as well as information on promotions and savings on various products.

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