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Cox, Plan Music Web Sites

June 9, 1999 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) _ Cox Interactive Media Inc. and Inc. today announced a joint venture to create and operate a number of music-related Web sites.

Cox Interactive Media, which operates a network of 30 local Web sites, will invest $45 million in, one of the leaders in online music distribution.

The two companies will make equal investments in the joint venture, according to a statement released by the companies.

As part of the agreement, David E. Easterly, president and chief operating officer of Cox Enterprises Inc., will join’s board of directors. Cox Enterprises Inc., based in Atlanta, is the parent company of Cox Interactive Media., based in San Diego, Calif., offers a music catalog with more than 56,000 songs by 11,000 artists that can be downloaded for free. The music is stored in a file format called MP3, which offers near-CD quality sound.

The recording industry has blamed MP3 technology for increased song piracy, and Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment have recently teamed up with software companies to develop secure methods of selling and distributing music online.

However, some recording artists have signaled a growing acceptance of MP3 technology. is sponsoring a summer concert tour featuring Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos.