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BTopenworld buys online music portal

Following its not-so-great price reduction to its broadband services last week, BTopenworld is now 'concentrating on broadband content'.

The company today announced it has agreed to buy music portal Dotmusic from United Business Media.

"This is part of our long-term commitment to create a broadband environment for our customers, with top-of-the-range services," said a spokesman at BT.

The Dotmusic site will stand alone but will be improved by the inclusion of BT's new broadband services.

"Adding Dotmusic's exclusive content, extensive user base and strong online user brand will ensure we continue as a leading player," said BTopenworld's chief executive Alison Ritchie, somewhat optimistically.

But this could in fact be a good move for BT — Dotmusic pulled in around 16 million page impressions last month alone.

BT has insisted that no job losses will be made as a result of the takeover, with staff concentrating on the new venture and BT's classical music site, launched in January.

The Department of Trade and Industry has approved the move, hoping it will be a step towards signing up more broadband users.

"Douglas Alexander [the e-commerce minister] has stressed the importance of specialist content in attracting people to broadband services. This is definitely a step in the right direction," said a spokesman at the DTI.

BT said the deal should be completed by April 2002.

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