AOL Time Warner Inc, Bertelsmann, EMI Group and
RealNetworks said on Monday they were joining forces to build a new online
music platform, MusicNet.

The four companies said in a statement that MusicNet will license its
platform to companies seeking to sell music subscription services under
their own brands, licensing initially to America Online and RealNetworks but
eventually other distribution platforms such as Napster.

EMI, Bertelsmann and AOL Time Warner will each own a minority stake in
MusicNet and license their music to the new platform, which will operate as
a stand-alone independent company. RealNetworks will also own a minority
stake and contribute its Internet media delivery technology.