BUSINESS CLIPS

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sony, bertelsmann close

Sony and Bertelsmann are close to signing a deal for Sony to buy out Bertelsmann's 50% stake in the Sony BMG music joint venture, sources said. An announcement could be made soon. The deal's value is pegged at about $1.2 billion. Sony and Sony BMG representatives weren't available for comment Monday.

ERGEN'S GOOD AND BAD

After splitting into two companies seven months ago, Charles Ergen's Dish Network and EchoStar Communications reported strong second-quarter earnings Monday, but investors responded differently to the news. Dish shares sank 3.6% on a 1.9% spike in churn, while EchoStar rose 1.5% on its $47.8 million Q2 profit and 46% jump in revenue.

BITTER NOTE ON WMG

Shares of Warner Music Group fell 7% on Monday after Goldman Sachs analyst Ingrid Chung downgraded the stock to "sell," predicting that the company will find it difficult to increase its market share.

MIDWAY OFF ITS GAME

Midway Games posted a big quarterly loss hurt by slowing sales of its video game titles, sending its shares down as much as 23% in after-hours trading Monday.

YAHOO QUESTIONS

Capital Research Global Investors said Monday that it has asked for a recount of the strong showing in favor of the re-election of Yahoo's board of directors. The group questioned the number of votes for Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang.
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