From: Reuters
Published February 7, 2008 07:58 PM

Sony BMG, Universal questioned about venture talks: source

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has requested information from Sony BMG and Universal Music Group about their talks to launch an online music subscription service, said a record company executive on Thursday.

The person, who wished to remain unnamed, said both record companies had received letters from the Justice Department asking questions about their plans for a site to be called Total Music, which would help the labels reduce the leverage that Apple Inc <AAPL.O> wields in the digital music market with its popular iTunes service.

A spokesman for Sony BMG, a joint venture between Sony Corp <6758.T> and Bertelsmann AG <BTGGg.F>, was unavailable to comment. While Universal, owned by French media giant Vivendi<VIV.PA>, declined comment.

(Reporting by Sue Zeidler; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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