Vitaminic buys FranceMP3

Another acquisition for the world's third-biggest music site

Italy's Vitaminic is at it again. Just days after purchasing the UK's Peoplesound, a Net-based music label, Vitaminic has bought out Eurekan Multimedia, owners of FranceMP3 an MP3France.com for 1.37m euros (about £840,000) and 250,000 new shares of Vitaminic stock.

Eurekan is currently owned by a collection of venture capitalists and partners such as e-NRJ, the online arm of a French radio broadcaster. Vitaminic says the combined company will have access to a combined catalogue of about 56,000 artists, 263,000 tracksand more than 1,150 record labels. It will deliver about 21 million page views per month and have 540,000 registered users.

"The French online digital music market is one of the fastest growing in Europe -- Vitaminic France has already achieved a very good position in this market, thanks to the operations managed by our local team based in Paris," said Gianluca Dettori, Vitaminic chief executive officer, in a statement.

Times are tough for pure-play Internet companies, which often find it difficult to maintain steady revenues without a presence on the high street, and companies such as Vitaminic have responded by snapping up the competition, ideally increasing their exposure and reducing costs. Vitaminic is now the third-largest music download site in the world, after MP3.com and Napster.

Besides Peoplesound, the company has also acquired the Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA), one of the Web's earliest ventures and a pioneering music site.

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