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Business

Bertelsmann Wants to Sell Sony BMG Stake to Sony

German media group Bertelsmann could sell its half of Sony BMG, a German newspaper reported on Tuesday, June 10.

U.S. singer Alicia Keys performs

Sony BMG claims plenty of star power

Bertelsmann has opened talks with Japanese partner Sony about selling its half of their jointly owned music company Sony BMG, according to a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper report.

Bertelsmann and Sony have jointly owned music company Sony BMG since 2004. Sony has an option to buy should Bertelsmann decided to sell its stake, the FAZ newspaper said, without identifying its source.

Sony BMG owns top record labels such as Columbia and Epic and has a list of blockbuster artists such as Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis and Avril Lavigne.

Record sales continue to drop

Bertelsmann boss Hartmut Ostrowski wants to get out of the music business as Internet downloads have caused sales to fall.

The partners have not agreed on a price, but the deal could be finalized within a few months, according to the FAZ report.

Even if Bertelsmann eventually gives up its share in Sony BMG, it will still have record and book clubs. Bertelsmann also has a stake in television together with the RTL group and in publishing together with Gruner + Jahr and Random House.

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