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MERGER MANIA: BMG AND SONY?

Bertie Negotiating Ploy
or Shrinking-Biz Inevitability?
The last time the Germans and the Japanese teamed up, they seemed to have a lot of success. With that in mind, a report that Bertelsmann is investigating a merger with Sony should have everyone in a cheery mood.

Yep, according to the New York Post, Bertelsmann has inevitably moved down the line from merger talks with EMI three years ago and discussions with Warner Music in recent months, to Sony. Because frankly, they’ve talked to everybody else. Other published reports that the Bertie-Warner talks are dead are making the papers as well, though haven't we all used reverse psychology when trying to merge with a major media conglomerate?

EMI acknowledged yesterday that it is talking with AOLTW about WMG, causing Standard & Poors to let EMI know that its stock might be downgraded to junk status. Moody's has already downgraded EMI stock to that level. The S&P news sent EMI’s stock down 4% on Monday.

Analysts estimated that the combined EMI-WMG could save between $206 million-$289 million in costs, though printing new letterhead could wipe those savings out.

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