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Bertelsmann Takes New Tack After Collapse Of EMI Merger

Reuters reports that Bertelsmann Music Group is now seeking to make cooperation deals or small acquisitions following the collapse of merger talks with EMI. BMG, the music division of German media giant Bertelsmann, ranks last among the Big 5 music majors worldwide, behind Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Warner Music. The company said on Tuesday it had abandoned merger talks with EMI after failing to resolve issues identified by the European Commission as regulatory problems.

Bertelsmann Chief Executive Rolf Schmidt-Holtz told Reuters, “We can easily cooperate with anybody. We have of course identified partners.” Schmidt-Holtz said BMG was now looking more at cooperation talks, not at takeover talks, adding, “I may also think about some acquisitions…but not comparable with EMI, not big moves…they would be acquisitions in order to broaden our trading basis.”

Such moves could involve the acquisition of smaller record labels, or deals similar to the distribution relationship that BMG has with Jive Records, in which BMG has a 20 percent stake in Jive.