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BMG Seeks To Sell Stake In Getmusic To Universal

Universal Music Group is negotiating to buy BMG Entertainment’s interest in their jointly owned music Web site GetMusic LLC, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition Wednesday.

The paper cited people familiar with the situation, adding the move was the latest sign of turmoil in the online music industry.

Details of the negotiations were sketchy, but the two sides were believed to be close to a deal, although the talks could still break down, the paper said.

One issue had been how much content BMG was willing to guarantee to the site, the paper said.

BMG is a unit of Bertelsmann AG of Germany, while Universal is a unit of Vivendi Universal SA of France.

Universal was not expected to pay a lot for BMG’s interest in GetMusic, the paper said. So far the two companies haveinvested a total of less than $50 million in the venture, it noted.

But selling out would relieve BMG of its obligation to continue funding the venture over the next several years, the paper said.

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