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Rhapsody nabs Napster UK

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Napster UK has a new owner: Rhapsody, the company that killed the service off in the States.

Music subscription service Rhapsody today said it had acquired Napster International, which runs the erstwhile P2P music industry hate-figure in the UK and Germany.

Napster International was kept separate from Napster US, which was eventually acquired by retail giant Best Buy and then flogged off to Rhapsody in November 2011.

Rhapsody then said it was merging Napster US' subscriber base into its own. At the time, Napster UK said it was continuing as before, still seemingly owned by Best Buy.

Why didn't Rhapsody nab Napster UK back then? Perhaps it did, and has simply taken this long to work out what to do with its European acquisition.

Since Rhapsody has no presence in Europe, picking up Napster International will give it one. Here, the Napster name will be retained, though Rhapsody's underlying technology will be used as the basis for the service.

UK and German subscriber numbers will be added to Rhapsody's million-plus total to make what it hopes will be a more impressive figure. ®

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