Matsushita, AT&T may deliver music via Internet

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TOKYO--Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. is in talks with AT&T Corp., BMG Entertainment and Universal Music Group about forming an alliance to deliver music over the Internet, according to a report citing unnamed sources in Japanese financial daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Matsushita would not confirm if it is in talks with the three global powerhouses, but did say it's studying the possibility of developing an Internet music delivery system.

"At this point, we have nothing to confirm about the Nihon Keizai story," says Matsushita spokesman Mike Kitadeya.

According to the newspaper story, the deal would entail Universal and BMG supplying the music while AT&T will organize the compression of music data and a system for fee collection. Matsushita will develop encryption technology and facilitate fee collection.

The system could also be used to deliver images, text and other forms of data over the Internet and the companies are trying to make their system the industry standard, it said.

Matsushita rival Sony Corp. has been trying to stake a leading position in the Internet music delivery system and is ready to take a delivery system to the market.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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