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Netflix unable to renew contract for Starz films

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix’s negotiations to keep a key piece of its Internet video library have collapsed, dealing a major blow to the largest U.S. video subscription service as it raises the prices for most of its 25 million customers. The setback triggered a 9 percent drop in Netflix Inc.’s stock price late Thursday.

Starz Entertainment delivered the bad news in a terse statement announcing that it won’t renew a contract that allows Netflix to show a lineup of recently released movies and TV shows over high-speed Internet connections.

That means Starz content will be removed from Netflix’s streaming service starting in March. Starz’ library includes movies from Walt Disney Co.’s assorted studios and, until recently, Sony Corp.

Associated Press

FDA to get higher fees, reform review process

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration has agreed to work toward faster, more predictable reviews of new prescription drugs in return for millions of dollars in additional fees from drugmakers, under a draft agreement unveiled by the agency on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that the new agreement would raise fees about 6 percent, collecting an estimated $40.4 million in new revenue for fiscal year 2012.

“We’re starting to see a lot of innovative therapies come through as a result of all the investments in science over the last 30 years,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s device center. “So this agreement will continue the review program that allows those products to move expeditiously through the regulatory process so they can reach the public in a timely way.”

Associated Press

Newspaper revenue fall hits 20th straight quarter

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. newspaper industry’s financial slump reached a discouraging milestone during the second quarter. Advertising revenue, newspapers’ main source of revenue, has now been falling for five years.

The April-June period marked the 20th straight quarter that ad revenue at U.S. newspapers decreased from the prior year. Newspapers brought in nearly $6 billion from print and online advertising combined during the second quarter, a 7 percent decline from the same time in 2010.

Associated Press goes global with launch in Japan

TOKYO – U.S. online streaming site made its international debut Thursday by launching a subscription video service in Japan.

The new service gives users unlimited on-demand access to popular American TV shows and movies for $19 per month.

For the launch, Hulu signed licensing deals with major studios and TV networks including CBS, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox. It plans to later add content produced in Japan and elsewhere in Asia.

Associated Press