Bertelsmann buys Napster for US$8 million

After a long and torrid courtship, Bertelsmann AG said Friday that it has agreed to purchase Napster Inc. for US$8 million, and is reinstating Konrad Hilbers at the helm of the troubled song-swapping service.

The move comes just days after Hilbers quit the company out of frustration that he could not secure financing to keep the operation running.

Hilbers will now regain the title of chief executive officer and will also chair the company’s board of directors. Napster founder Shawn Fanning will take the post of chief technology officer, Bertelsmann said.

The $8 million Bertelsmann is paying for the embattled startup will go toward paying Napster’s creditors, the company said.