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Words in the News
Friday 07 November 2003
Sony Music and Bertelsmann to merge
Bertelsmann offices Two of the world's largest music recording companies are about to become even bigger. Sony of Japan and the German group Bertelsmann have agreed to merge their music operations.

This report from Mark Gregory:
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The two companies have struck a deal in principle to create a combined group that will rival Universal Music, the world's largest recording label, in size. The new group will account for a quarter of legitmate recording sales around the world.

The big recording labels are in a mood to join forces to combat the explosion of music piracy, which has slashed their revenues and profits. Increasingly music fans download their tracks for free over the internet. And, in parts of Asia bootleg CDs account for 90 percent or more of all music sold.

The deal between Sony and BMG is described for the moment as non-binding, with the details to be finalised within a few weeks.

Mark Gregory, BBC
Listen Listen to the words
struck a deal
made an agreement
in principle
without agreeing details
compete with
account for
legitimate recording sales
sales of legally produced tapes and CDs
join forces
become stronger by uniting
music piracy
illegal copying and selling of tapes and CDs
dramatically reduced
bootleg CDs
illegally copied CDs
if an agreement is non-binding, the people or organisations involved can still change their minds
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