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BMG Extends Talks With Warner Music

BMG, the music unit of German media company Bertelsmann AG, has extended talks with Warner Music aimed at forming a joint venture for recorded music, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires.

Warner and BMG have been in exclusive talks to form a joint venture, freezing out British rival EMI Group PLC, the person, who declined to be identified, said Wednesday.

The deadline for the exclusivity period ended in August, but has now been extended, the person said. The deadline has been extended “indefinitely,” depending on how talks progress, another source said.

Warner Music is a unit of AOL Time Warner Inc., New York, the Internet-based media communications giant.

Bertelsmann declined to comment on what it called “speculation.” A spokeswoman for AOL Time Warner also declined to comment.

A previous deal between BMG and EMI was scotched by regulatory concerns.

Media reports in Britain earlier this week speculated that EMI was preparing to announce its own bid for Warner Music. However, a person familiar with EMI’s strategy told Dow Jones Newswires that while EMI is watching the situation very closely, there is no deal in the works.

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