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Business Diary: Blockbuster MGM buy-out.

Byline: DAVID JONES

JAPANESE electronics giant Sony is to buy Hollywood studio MGM for nearly pounds 1. 7bn.

The deal marks the last chapter in the history of two of Hollywood's most famous names -- Metro Goldwyn Mayer, once best known for its musical hits like Singing In The Rain and its subsidiary, United Artists, the studio founded in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and DW Griffith.

The agreement is a coup for Sony, which as late as Sunday was considered the underdog in the bidding to Time Warner, which dropped its offer on Monday.

Acquiring MGM's vast library of more than 4, 100 films, including West Side Story, Rocky and Rain Man, boosts the content Sony can now offer on DVD and on portable devices, many of which Sony makes.

Sony also announced that it has reached a distribution deal with Comcast, the largest cable TV provider in the US, that would allow video on demand and new cable channels featuring Sony and MGM content.

With the arrival of broad band in homes around the world, people are increasingly expected to enjoy movies on internet-linking equipment in their living rooms.

MGM said its management will recommend the deal, subject to regulatory approval, to its board by September 27.

Tomorrow One-day workshop on Marketing for SMEs. Conwy Business Centre, Llandudno Junction. Ring 01492 574574.

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September 21-23 10 am -4pm Mentec, Bangor. Business planning course. Contact Sian Owens on 01766 772948.

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CAPTION(S):

The famous lion at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. The American film giant is to be purchased by Japanese multicorporation Sony
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 15, 2004
Words:414
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