January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

CDNow-Columbia House Merger Off

CDNow, Time Warner Inc. and Sony Corp. have called off the merger of CDNow and Columbia House. Instead, Time Warner and Sony will invest $21 million in CDNow and convert an existing $30 million loan commitment into long-term convertible debt.

Under the revised deal, CDNow remains an independent public company with continued ties to Time Warner, Sony and Columbia House.

"We are obviously disappointed that the merger originally envisioned last July will not be completed," CDNow CEO Jason Olim said in a statement. "However, we feel the termination of the merger is the best move for CDNow and its shareholders." CDNow says it has retained Allen & Co. to explore its strategic options.

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