Tuesday, September 03, 2002

BOL - BOOKS OFFLINE?: According to the FT, Bertelsmann are about to either scale down or close entirely its online books and music sales department, an empire which includes CDNow, BOL and Barnesandnoble.com. It's suggested that Amazon might snap up a large part of the assets of any shake-down; even if it doesn't the giant of online retailing must be pretty much on the point of giddy-goosery with the likely demise of its main competition. Expect the gap between online price and store price to get a lot less attractive in the next few months.
In related news, the European Commission has approved BMG's takeover of Zomba, the label that gives us Britney Spears - the Commission reckoning that it won't really increase BMG's market share much. Maybe not, but "they're so big it doesn't matter if they get a little bit bigger" is hardly sound reasoning; and allowing one of the big labels to swallow down one of the biggest acts in the world is hardly a blow for competition, is it?

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