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EMusic to Discontinue Unlimited Download Service

Online music company EMusic plans to discontinue its unlimited download service and replace it with a more limited offering, the company said on its Web site this week.

Vivendi Universal’s VUNet USA recently signed a deal to sell EMusic.com Inc. to Dimensional Associates LLC, a privately held venture capital firm based in New York, for undisclosed terms.

The deal is scheduled to close at the end of October.

EMusic said that as of Nov. 8, it will replace its unlimited service offering with two subscription plans. The basic plan offers up to 40 downloads for $9.99 per month, and the other allows 65 downloads for $14.99 per month.

On its Web site, EMusic said the change was the result of continued financial, legal and technological pressure on the recording industry.

For 40 downloads with a subscription of $9.99, each download would cost 25 cents if subscribers use their full allotment. This is far below Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store standard of 99 cents a track.

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