3, INQ and Spotify draw closer

The music streaming service Spotify has taken a further step into the mobile arena having agreed to accept additional financing from the owners of 3, Hutchison Whampoa. 3UK is already in negotiations with Spotify about prebundling the service on its mobiles.

While the level of investment from Hutchison Whampoa has not been disclosed, Spotify has already raised between US$ 30 million and US$50 million from other backers including music labels. However, the new money has been enough for Hutchison Whampoa to gain a seat on Spotify's board of directors, which will be filled by Frank Meehan, the CEO of INQ Mobile, which is also owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa.

According to Meehan, his move is intended to intensify Spotify's position in the mobile space, after Spotify developed a yet-to-be approved application for the iPhone. "I will be taking a full board position and will be very focused in helping Spotify become a success in mobile."

This appointment has also triggered speculation that Spotify could convince other operators to carry the INQ handset once the music service has been proven with 3, although the company has announced plans to support Nokia's S60 platform and Android.

For more on this story:
The Guardian

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