While Company Expresses Desire For A Napster IPO, Universal Says No To An Alliance
While the company was knee-deep in an executive reshuffling, reports have circulated that Bertelsmann plans to turn Napster into a legitimate business and then list it as a public company.

The plans for an initial public offering are a long way off, as Napster must still defend itself in the courts against allegations that it has enabled mass Internet piracy.

But executives at Bertelsmann, which signed a strategic alliance with the file swapper last week, have ambitions to float the company.

"Under the best case scenario, Napster will be a publicly quoted company," one Bertelsmann executive told Reuters.

Bertelsmann hopes of an IPO for Napster will demonstrate its confidence that it will be able to reform the service into a legitimate and, ultimately, profitable business.

In related news, Universal Music Group has no plans to join the alliance that Napster formed this week with Bertelsmann, an executive of the U.S. company told a French newspaper.

"It's nothing more than a virtual juke box accessible by subscription," said Pascal Negre, President of Universal Music France, adding that Universal already offers an equivalent product. He said Napster users are unlikely to flock to the new service.

Negre indicated it's unlikely that Universal will drop a lawsuit against Napster, which he said should pay for "stealing" from Universal's music catalog for 18 months.