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  • Axle Digital Acquires Assets of Social Commerce Market Leader Adgregate Markets

    Axle Digital Acquires Assets of Social Commerce Market Leader Adgregate Markets


    New York, NY and San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) April 25, 2012
    Axle Digital firmly established its position as a major player in the rapidly growing social/mobile solutions market today when it announced that is has acquired the assets of Sausalito-based Adgregate Markets. A TechCrunch50 finalist and winner of the OnMedia 100 award for three years running, Adgregate was frequently cited as a trailblazer, investing millions in the development of the industry's first comprehensive, social and mobile network enabled multi-channel platform for hosting robust distributed commerce solutions. In partnership with leading security providers McAfee, Symantec and TRUSTe, Adgregate introduced large retailers such as Old Navy, Banana Republic, Nordstrom and GameStop to the potential of social commerce.
    The acquisition of Adgregate, best known for its highly integrated ShopFans storefront solution for Facebook, further accelerates Axle Digital's emergence as key provider of the services companies need to drive multi-dimensional ecommerce initiatives. Drawing on the combined strengths of social and mobile communities, Axle effectively delivers engaging commerce opportunities across a wide range of consumer touchpoints, including Facebook, mobile, tablet, Internet TV, in-store, etc.
    "In a world where consumers are interacting with brands across multiple devices, it's becoming increasingly clear that the success or failure of those brands will be determined by how well the brand engages with consumers across numerous devices," commented Christopher Williams, Axle's Chairman. "Talking about multi-touchpoint engagement is one thing, making it happen is another...Axle Digital makes it happen."
    With this acquisition Axle is gaining both a strong foothold in the market and innovative technology that will enhance the company's already robust mobile and social commerce platforms. "We are continually expanding our platform to meet the needs of our clients, enabling them to effectively develop and launch fully integrated, feature-rich, consumer shopping experiences across all consumer touchpoints," said Aaron Knoll, Axle's Chief Technology Officer. Axle expects to announce the launch of several commerce solutions with top retailers in the coming months.
    About Axle Digital
    Axle Digital's mission is to provide retailers with a centralized approach to delivering truly unique and engaging experiences to any customer, any place, any time. Axle Digital's Platform as a Service (PaaS) supports a wide variety of consumer touchpoints, including online social and mobile networks, smartphones, tablets, Internet TV, in-store display, kiosks, and more. Axle Digital provides everything from turnkey ecommerce solutions to custom development of unique solutions fully integrated with our client's existing ecommerce systems.
    For additional information on Axle Digital, please visit www.axledigital.com


    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/25/prweb9439108.DTL#ixzz1t5DGOHSh
  • July 9: Doomsday for Your PC or Mac If It Has This Malware

    July 9: Doomsday for Your PC or Mac If It Has This Malware


    There’s a trojan out there that tricks computers — both PCs and Macs — into redirecting all their Internet traffic through malicious servers. Even though the trojan’s creators have been stopped and arrested, millions of PCs could still be infected. For those machines, the Internet will cease to exist on July 9.
    The reasons are technical, and they go back to 2007. That was the year the trojan first surfaced, according to PC World. The malware, which can infect both Windows and Mac computers, essentially creates a botnet by changing how the machine accessed DNS.
    DNS (Domain Name Service) is how the web organizes its addresses. It’s the system that lets you simply type in “mashable.com” instead of some kind of long and incomprehensible IP address filled with letters, decimals and numbers. Your computer talks to a DNS server operated by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to find all the websites that you visit every day.
    The trojan, called DNS Changer, redirects your computer’s DNS queries from your ISP’s server to one created by the trojan’s creators — essentially hijacking all Internet traffic from your machine. That way, the bad guys can send you to hacker-created websites filled with ads whenever they want.
    The good news: The FBI shut down the operation, called Rove Digital, last November when they arrested six Estonian nationals behind the botnet and shut down their malicious servers. To ensure infected computers wouldn’t be cut off from the Internet entirely, the FBI set up its own DNS servers.
    The bad news: Those friendly servers will soon be shut down. They were originally going to run only four months, but a judge ordered an extension of their operation until July 9 since it’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of computers are still infected.
    If a machine is still has the trojan and tries to access the web on July 9, it won’t be able to access anything. With Internet access cut off, it would be very inconvenient to download and install anti-virus software.
    If you suspect you’re infected, go to the DNS Changer Check-Up website, which should let you know if your computer’s DNS is working properly. Should your machine test positive, an organization called the DNS Changer Working Group has a list of anti-virus tools for cleaning it up. The FBI has an even more comprehensive to-do list.
    Even with the extra time and cleanup tools, however, it’s likely a few machines will slip through and not get the update by July 9. What do you think should happen to reach those computers in time? Sound off in the comments.
  • Canada Online Ad Spending to Hit $3 Billion in 2012

    Canada Online Ad Spending to Hit $3 Billion in 2012


    Marketer forecasts online ad spending in Canada will reach CA$3.08 billion ($3.11 billion) in 2012, an increase of 16.3% over 2011. Robust growth will continue through the forecast period, with spending topping out at CA$4.51 billion ($4.55 billion) in 2016.

    Online Ad Spending in Canada, 2010-2016 (billions of C$ and % change)

    Online ad growth will far outpace that of total media, which will maintain single digit increases through 2016. As a result, online’s share of total ad spending will be 23% in 2012 and near 30% by 2016.

    Online Ad Spending as a Percent of Total Media Ad Spending, Canada vs. US, 2010-2016

    Search has and will maintain the largest share of online ad spending from 2010 to 2016. In fact, eMarketer forecasts search’s compound annual growth (CAGR) of 11.2% will outpace that of classified (8.6%) and display (9.9%) during the forecast period. However, online video spending growth, which is starting from a smaller base, will leave search in the dust thanks to a CAGR of 34.3%.
    eMarketer benchmarks its online ad spending projections against the IAB Canada, for which the last full year measured was 2010. We include classifieds and directories, display (including banner, direct response/lead generation, rich media and sponsorships), email (embedded ads only), search and video ads.
  • Apple hits $39.2 billion in revenue, sells 35.1m iPhones, 11.8m iPads in Q2

    Apple hits $39.2 billion in revenue, sells 35.1m iPhones, 11.8m iPads in Q2


    Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads and 7.7 million iPods in better-than-expected second quarter. Overall the company generated $39.2 billion in revenue for the quarter on the sale of 54.6 million iOS devices.  Analysts had predicted the company would sell approximately 35 million iphones and earn about $37 billion between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31.
    The numbers are down from Apple’s most recent quarter, when the company saw record revenues of $46.3 billion on sales of 37.04 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads, but up dramatically year-over-year. In the second quarter of 2011, the company sold 18.65 million iPhones and 4.69 million iPads.
    Although apple saw a decline in the number of iPod sold year-over-year, Apple’s new iPad proved to be a strong seller. The company’s sales of 11.8 million iPads were up 152 percent over the same quarter last year. Consumers picked up more than 3 million new iPads in the device’s first weekend of availability, making it the the strongest iPad launch to date. With these numbers Apple is likely on track to meet the predictions of investment bank Piper Jaffray, which estimated the company would sell 66 million new iPads in 2012.
    Apple has sold about 370 million iOS devices to date, up from the 315 million the company has sold as of January. Strong sales in the quarter have allowed Apple to keep the momentum it gained on Android with the launch of the iPhone 4S. According to Google’s latest numbers, Android has seen more than 300 million device activations to date.
    Apple’s net income in the second quarter was $11.6 billion, up 94 percent year-on-year from $5.99 billion. Net sales were up 59 percent, rising to $39.2 billion from $24.7 billion this time last year. Gross margin was 47.4 percent, compared to 41.4 percent in Q2 2011. Overall, 64 percent of the quarter’s revenue came from international sales.
    Apple earned $14 billion in cash from its operations. According to a statement provided by chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple is predicting revenues to dip slightly in the fourth quarter to $34 billion.
    More to come via Inside Mobile Apps
  • ACTV8.me Makes Bold Move Into Digital Currency Space By Creating Digital Wallets For Television Viewers Interacting With Television Shows

    ACTV8.me Makes Bold Move Into Digital Currency Space By Creating Digital Wallets For Television Viewers Interacting With Television Shows


    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- ACTV8.me now enables TV networks to monetize an entirely new space, the distribution of digital currency. As major innovations are being made with Google Wallet (Google Inc., Public) and PayPal (a subsidiary of eBay Inc., Public), ACTV8.me is positioned to turn the mobile wallet opportunity into a huge revenue play for the TV broadcast sector. After only two months of deployment, the early adoption behavior is remarkable. The early data shows that the app user is interacting an average of 10 times per episode and accepting over 2 offers per episode. Use and adoption are driven via providing real interactive entertainment. Over and above true interactive entertainment, the app becomes a vehicle for distribution of advertiser based digital value to smart phones and rewarding consumers for interacting with major TV shows through ACTV8's second screen apps.
    Considering the size of the TV audiences that are exposed to the ACTV8 technology, the potential to drive adoption is enormous. On one episode alone of "Celebrity Apprentice" there are approximately 10 million total viewers that are exposed to the opportunity to interact and be rewarded. This incentive will certainly help migrate consumers from the old fashioned wallet to new wallets on mobile devices. Early trials include mass marketing campaigns with Walgreens (Walgreen Co) retail tie in, and with General Motors (General Motors Company), Kraft (Kraft Foods Inc.)and O Cedar.
    To further its move into the digital mobile wallet space, ACTV8.me announced an innovative partnership with Tango Card to provide a loyalty and reward mechanism for ACTV8.me's interactive second screen apps. The currency and rewards redemption enabled via the Tango card include tie-ins with Amazon (Amazon.com Inc.), The Gap (The Gap Inc.), Fandango, Target (Target Corporation) , Nike (NIKE, Inc.), and Starbucks Corporation.
    Major networks and producers including Fox Broadcasting Company, Mark Burnett, Oxygen TV, Virgin Produced and others have teamed with ACTV8.me to provide compelling interactive entertainment with second screen apps. Some of these apps include powerful social features that will enhance how viewers watch and engage and virally share offers from their favorite shows. Tango Card will manage the delivery and use of the value earned through many of these programs - providing incentives for engagement ranging from leader board toppers to real reward from advertisers for social content sharing and coupon downloads. This opens unique opportunities for advertisers and brands to connect with consumers in digital, social, and highly quantifiable ways.
    Tango Card has a history of putting gift cards and rewards where they've never been before. David Leeds, Founder and CEO of Seattle-based Tango Card says, "Their direct partnerships with the largest networks and the most popular primetime shows allow them to engage viewers in a unique and incredibly defensible way. We are thrilled to be working alongside ACTV8 to usher in this new era of interactive TV."
    The partnership's goal is to deepen viewer engagement and enhance advertising opportunities. The partnership begins in the synchronized Celebrity Apprentice app which features exclusive content, info on the celebs, trivia, and games. Through the second screen apps, the leader board toppers of both the East and West Coasts win Tango Cards that can be redeemed at www.tangocard.com/actv8 .
    ACTV8.me works alongside major TV networks and production partners to empower hit TV shows, delivering a complete global media integration platform and bringing new user experiences to life in next-generation TV connectivity. ACTV8.me Founder and CEO Brian Shuster predicts, "and as media consumption habits change dramatically, ACTV8.me and its partners are poised to bring new value to the networks, the advertisers, and most importantly the consumer. Tango Card was an obvious choice for us when we needed a forward-thinking and versatile rewards partner."
    About ACTV8.me ACTV8.me empowers hit TV shows with its technology working alongside major TV networks and production partners, ACTV8.me delivers a "complete global media integration platform," which brings amazing new user experiences to life in next-generation TV connectivity.
    ACTV8.me is also working with its network and production partners to create new bi-directional TV entertainment; a new breed of interactive TV shows will emerge from these partnerships.
    ACTV8.me leads the way in developing and designing new second-screen interactive TV shows, interfaces and mobile applications that facilitate discovery of content and users' relationships with it. With its proprietary technologies, ACTV8.me marries broadcast and cable television to the two largest social media platforms on the planet, and then makes it all interactive, thus creating the ultimate uber platform.
    Its second-screen platform was built over three years with a vision and focus to empower subscribers to interact with TV content, while integrating social channel engagements, such as Facebook and Twitter, and a new digital ad model that creates a first of its kind, one-to-one relationship with the consumer. Their deployments enhance the TV viewing experience by providing interactivity, social game mechanics, community sharing and exclusive offers in the form of real-time digital coupons.
    www.actv8.me
    About Tango Card Tango Card is an enterprise platform that delivers digital gift cards and rewards for online, social and gamified applications, and emerging online channels. Tango Card's integrated solutions can be seen in its partnerships with treat.com (Shutterfly) and Bing, and its unique software solutions can be seen at Salesforce.com and on the various mobile app stores.
    www.tangocard.com
  • Kraft Foods Inc. Partners With Intel On Product Distribution And Marketing Platforms

    Kraft Foods Inc. Partners With Intel On Product Distribution And Marketing Platforms


    Through the innovative use of technology and key partnerships, Kraft Foods Inc. and Intel have created a new product distribution and marketing platform that uniquely combines digital technology with traditional hardware platforms. The resulting immersive experience enables brands to interact with consumers in a new way, creating an emotional connection. Powered by a modular software/hardware architecture framework utilizing high performance Intel® Core™i5 processors, this new platform delivers fun and engaging vending, sampling, and digital signage experiences.
    At the heart of every interactive experience is a modular architecture framework enabling the flexibility to:
    • Seamlessly transform between vending, sampling, and digital signage experiences;
    • Rebrand existing experiences easily;
    • Refresh content quickly via a centralized content management system (products, promotions, advertising);
    • Remotely monitor and manage with full analytics (inventory management, pricing…)
    The architecture provides a sustainable model for Kraft Foods and its vending operator partners to deliver personalized consumer experiences in a wide variety of locations such as airports, train stations, healthcare facilities, and college campuses.
    The highly successful pilot of the Diji-Touch vending machine has been in limited market areas for approximately 18 months. A combination of traditional vending with a touchscreen interface that delivers product nutrition information and engaging advertising, the Diji-Touch vending machine allows brands to better connect with consumers at point of sale.
    Kraft Foods’ new modular architecture framework is the foundation for the next generation of Diji-Touch vending machines that will be deployed in several market areas in the second half of 2012. Successful deployment will enable a national launch in 2013 that will deliver millions of branded impressions and engagement opportunities with consumers.
    The Diji-Taste is Kraft Foods’ sampling platform leveraging traditional vending machines as the product distribution mechanism. The engaging consumer experiences leverage large touchscreen digital displays, camera technology supporting age/gender detection and gestural game control. And social network integration. 

  • Sony Digital Cinema Demonstrates Content Exchange Platform at CinemaCon 2012

    Sony Digital Cinema Demonstrates Content Exchange Platform at CinemaCon 2012


    LAS VEGAS, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- CINEMACON 2012, At Sony Digital Cinema's CinemaCon 2012 press conference today, the company demonstrated for the first time its Content Exchange Platform, a proof-of-concept marketplace for alternative, independent and repertory content that aims to provide exhibitors with a broad view of all content available to them, while providing content owners with a standardized distribution model for reaching exhibitors. The marketplace would effectively enable exhibitors to "pull" content on demand, such as live or repertory events, and independent or classic films, rather than the "push" model currently employed where content owners seek out exhibitors.
    "Alternative, independent and repertory content has become increasingly important to exhibitors' businesses as they look for ways of generating incremental ticket and concession sales and attracting new customers," said Gary Johns, senior vice president, Digital Cinema Solutions, Sony Electronics. "The content marketplace driven by Sony's Content Exchange Platform seeks to put a vast library of content at exhibitors' fingertips, managing rights and distribution so that they can focus on building stronger relationships with their patrons and generating more revenue."
    The marketplace powered by Sony Digital Cinema's Content Exchange Platform seeks to create an open content pipeline for exhibitors that simplifies the transaction process and makes content easier to find and show. The platform allows exhibitors to schedule content regularly, selecting from diverse programming while managing rights issues. While the project is in the proof-of-concept stage, the aim is that the Content Exchange Platform will be open to all content owners and exhibitors globally.
    Sony will harness a wide range of expertise and technologies to bring the platform to life, including digital cinema systems, security management, network operations, distributor-exhibitor billing and theater management software. The platform is being developed in conjunction with the digital asset and content management experts at Sony DADC New Media Solutions.
    More details on the Content Exchange Platform are expected in the second half of 2012. For more information on today's announcement, visit the Sony Digital Cinema website, or see us in person at CinemaCon 2012 at the Sony Digital Cinema booth, #2711 in the Augustus Ballroom, Emperor's level in Caesars Palace.
    About Sony Electronics Digital Cinema SolutionsSony Digital Cinema Solutions combines a full range of Sony technologies, alternative content offerings, training and service to provide a broad range of solutions for exhibitors. The world's leading manufacturer of commercially available 4K resolution digital cinema projection systems, the group also offers Sony's TMS (theater management system); digital signage hardware, software and content development; security systems and Network Operations Center (NOC) services for the exhibition community. Sony also offers flexible financing including a lease program and exhibitor-managed finance program leveraging Sony's VPF administration, that can make converting to digital easier and more affordable than ever before. For more information, visit www.sony.com/digitalcinema .
    About Sony DADC New Media SolutionsSony DADC New Media Solutions is a pioneering provider of comprehensive digital supply chain solutions built to power a new era of media consumption. Drawing on proven supply chain expertise and a unique understanding of the global media marketplace, Sony DADC New Media Solutions helps leading media and entertainment companies maximize every consumer experience with innovative technology and next-generation solutions for the complete media lifecycle that deliver the creativity, efficiency, and quality required by today's digital mediabusinesses and the audiences they serve. For more information, please visit www.newmedia.sonydadc.com .
    SOURCE Sony Electronics
  • BlueSnap Announces New eCommerce Services for Sales of Enterprise Virtual Goods

    BlueSnap Announces New eCommerce Services for Sales of Enterprise Virtual Goods

    BlueSnap Announces New eCommerce Services for Sales of Enterprise Virtual Goods
    *Complete infrastructure and payments solution leverages more than a decade of experience to keep implementation costs low and ROI high *
    FREMONT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
    Heralding a new era in online commerce, BlueSnap today announced the immediate availability of a complete suite of services designed to enable the adoption of software as a service (SaaS) based “virtual ownership” eCommerce business models by enterprise and fast growth companies. These BlueSnap services support vendors that want to offer consumers and businesses the ability to lease or rent access to products and services rather than buying them outright. BlueSnap solutions leverage Plimus technology and experience into services that support traditional purchase models as well. Through its suite of five solutions, BlueSnap offers digital merchants an open, flexible and easily configurable enterprise-class eCommerce solution that enables improved monetizationacross a wide variety of digital goods including audio and video content, software, casual games and subscription access to publications and services.
    Writes Brian Walker, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Inc. in the October 2011 report, The Agile Commerce Platform, “The way we think of eBusiness technology has fundamentally changed. … eBusiness professionals must empower their developers, businesspeople, and partners to innovate and optimize the customer experience in and across these touchpoints, creating opportunities to drive profitable business growth. This will be done by leveraging an agile commerce platform, one which can be exposed through services, managed in the cloud, and extended to support changing business needs over time.”
    Specific components of the BlueSnap portfolio of eCommerce services include:
    - *BlueSnap Full Service Commerce – *technology and expertise to build enterprise class online commerce capabilities – *BlueSnap Custom Commerce –* builds on BlueSnap’s Full Service Commerce solution, with the addition of specialized functionality from the company’s best-in-class ecosystem of partners – *BlueSnap Content Commerce –* solutions to monetize online content, SaaS and cloud services, including industry-specific solutions including CloudTV+Plus, a unique IPTV entertainment solution – *BlueSnap/Plimus Self*-*Service Commerce *– a continuation of Plimus’ 10-year leadership as the “do it yourself” eCommerce platform for small and medium sized businesses, now a BlueSnap service – *Commerce Integrations* – channel and developer targeted services to support integrated commerce and embed payments, eCommerce and online marketing in existing applications to create new revenue streams
    Each of these solutions can be augmented with BlueSnap Expert Services, which consolidates more than a decade of eCommerce experience, as well as a small but growing ecosystem of plug-in and integration partners that enable customization of industry-specific business requirements. The first of these industry-specific solutions from BlueSnap is CloudTV+Plus, which is a unique, over-the-top IPTV entertainment solution for broadcasters and producers.
    To ensure the protection of payment information, BlueSnap maintains PCI Level 1 security, the highest level of consumer security available, coupled with capabilities like dynamic recurring subscriptions, in-product/application purchases and unique consumer financial identity features that can also be leveraged to increase average order value and build sales. These frictionless commerce capabilities allow companies to experiment with new business models and marketplaces that will be key to success in a rapidly evolving, social Web driven market.
    At its core, BlueSnap is powered by the decade-long, proven success of Plimus, which has long been a leader in complete, configured and connected eBusiness solutions. The technology behind BlueSnap was the first to innovate fully customizable order pages to close the gap between traffic and close rate and the first to enable frictionless eCommerce with simple one-click buying, auto-login and identity management features to increase sales and build tighter customer relationships. The platform pioneered the concept of digital commerce anywhere, anytime with the Buy Anyware API, which enables any application or social media website with eCommerce functionality. And, BlueSnap’s recurring billing solutions currently support fast growth enterprises in the exploding Cloud and SaaS markets.
    “We are enthusiastic about the possibilities BlueSnap brings to the market,” said Hagai Tal, CEO of BlueSnap. “With the fast growth of digital commerce around the world, Plimus has literally grown up within this industry – and as we grew as a company, many of our customers that were small start-ups and entrepreneurially founded companies grew up to be fast growth enterprise-size companies themselves. We learned much about what it takes to sell digital goods, and our unique experience is now embodied in BlueSnap for the enterprise. Global payment processing is increasingly complex, and BlueSnap’s payment innovations and monetization techniques are increasingly needed as we move toward the SaaS virtual ownership models of the future.”
    *About BlueSnap*
    BlueSnap is a global provider of open Cloud Commerce technology and services that meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s digital brands, helping companies of all sized optimize customer engagement to maximize revenue. BlueSnap offers flexible monetization solutions that allow companies to create competitive advantage. Built on proven technology that leverages more than a decade of digital commerce expertise, BlueSnap provides a compliant and secure business environment that scales the consumer experience and turns browsers into buyers. For more information visit www.bluesnap.com.
  • Neverblue’s Parent Company Files for Bankruptcy

    Neverblue’s Parent Company Files for Bankruptcy

    Velo Holdings Inc, the parent company of Neverblue, Lava Life and Vertrue has filed for Bankruptcy this morning, as reported by Reuters.
    According to reports this is specifically because of enormous losses sustained from re-billing and continuity practices.
    According to Dow Jones:
     Velo blamed, in part, tighter regulatory control of one of its online marketing practices for its strained finances. The method redirects customers who have completed a purchase on its discount retail website to another website, a Velo subsidiary that sells fraud and identity theft protection services, and asks the customer to enroll.
    Velo defaulted on both its credit facilities in December to avoid a liquidity crisis, it said, prompting Moody’s Investors Services to downgrade the company’s debt ratings. As a result, Chase Paymentech LLC, Velo’s credit-card processor, notified Velo it would terminate their agreement on April 20.
    According to its bankruptcy filing it has over $1 Billion in Debts, but will try to restructure its business and continue operations under Chapter 11.
    We will continue to report this story as more information is available.
    UPDATE: Neverblue has informed Performance Marketing Insider the following:
    This filing will not impact Neverblue’s ability to meet client needs in any way – we intend to continue to operate business as usual without interruption. Neverblue’s business is fundamentally strong and we intend to make all affiliate payments on schedule, in a timely and reliable manner.  We’ve built out our global, performance-based online marketing strategy across several unique verticals, and now operate one of the largest international cost per action networks.  Neverblue is absolutely well-positioned for future growth as one of the most highly-valued lead generation companies.

    Via Pace Latin @ PerformInsider

    Online Marketing Company Velo Holdings Files For Chapter 11


    Online marketing and sales company Velo Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday amid demands from Visa Inc. (V) and its credit-card processor after the passage of a federal law quelling aggressive online marketing practices caused revenue to plummet.
    "Facing the threats from Visa and Paymentech, among other things, the debtors in consultation with their advisors determined it was prudent to file for bankruptcy," Velo said in court documents.
    Velo said it plans to auction two segments, its health insurance sales and lead generation businesses, while restructuring the credit and identity theft protection and retail businesses. Barclays Bank PLC, which holds the first-lien loan, will credit bid $80 million for the insurance business and $20 million for the lead generation business, Velo said.
    The company is also asking the court to approve $40 million in bankruptcy financing from Barclays so it can continue operations during the Chapter 11 case.
    Velo blamed, in part, tighter regulatory control of one of its online marketing practices for its strained finances. The method redirects customers who have completed a purchase on its discount retail website to another website, a Velo subsidiary that sells fraud and identity theft protection services, and asks the customer to enroll.
    V2V Corp. sells these services on freescore.com, idenityhawk.com, creditfyi.com and debtplan.com for a monthly fee charged to the customer's credit card.
    In late 2010, regulations surrounding this practice changed. Under the new law, merchants are required to ask customers to re-enter their entire credit-card numbers, as opposed to only the last four digits, to sign up and authorize Velo to automatically charge the card a monthly fee.
    The change caused company-wide revenue to drop to $485 million in 2011 from $590.8 million in 2010.
    As revenue fell and debt levels remained high--it has $385 million and $205 million in first and second lien credit facilities--Visa demanded that Velo implement a new risk identification metric by May 2012. Velo projected this would cost it $13 million in earnings, but Visa threatened to stop allowing Velo to accept Visa credit cards if it didn't comply.
    Velo defaulted on both its credit facilities in December to avoid a liquidity crisis, it said, prompting Moody's Investors Services to downgrade the company's debt ratings. As a result, Chase Paymentech LLC, Velo's credit-card processor, notified Velo it would terminate their agreement on April 20.
    Velo claimed between $100 million and $500 million in assets and between $500 million and $1 billion in liabilities in its bankruptcy petition. It also put 13 subsidiaries under Chapter 11 protection Monday.

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