Columbia House, BMG Direct Merger Could Represent A Perfect Five Out Of Five
According to Friday's Wall Street Journal, German media giant Bertelsmann AG and Time Warner Inc. have had preliminary discussions regarding a merger of Bertelsmann's BMG Direct and Time Warner's Columbia House record clubs.

A spokesman for Columbia House offered no comment and a representative for BMG Direct could not be reached.

According to people close to the situation, chances of a deal being finalized anytime soon are slim, since the Time Warner/AOL merger is still pending and the Warner Music Group/EMI Group merger is under review by antitrust regulators.

A merger between BMG Direct and Columbia House would represent a unification of four of the Big 5 music labels considering Warner Music's pending merger with EMI and Sony's 50% ownership of Columbia House.

Sources have also linked UMG's European clubs to the record club merger talks, which, if true, would make it a perfect 5 out of 5.