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BMG and Sony teaming up on WMG buy?

DOUBLE-TEAMING: BMG Rights Management is talking to Sony about jointly making a deal to acquire Warner Music, the N.Y. Post’s Claire Atkinson reports. While BMG has proposed buying all of Warner, the company is believed to be primarily interested in Warner/Chappell and has talked to Sony Music about taking over the recorded-music side of the business, sources told the reporter. BMG was eliminated from the first round of the sale process after submitting a bid that was deemed too low, but came back with a higher offer in the second round, sources said. BMG's bid was around $2.8 billion, according to the Financial Times. WMG has received 10 bids for all or parts of the business, according to sources. Given its immense size, a combined Sony Music/WMG would, of course, face intensive scrutiny by regulatory bodies on both sides of the Atlantic, likely requiring the selling off of significant assets. The sale process is expected to wind up by the end of March, one source told Atkinson. (3/23a)

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