January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

From CDNow to CDThen?

CDnow.com stock tumbled another 21% this morning after an independent accountant said it wasn't sure the company will survive. In an annual report for the online music retailer filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, accounting firm Arthur Andersen raised "substantial doubt" about the company's viability, according to CBSMarketWatch.com.

CDnow shares have taken a beating since its proposed merger with Columbia House was scuttled earlier this month. After the merger's collapse, analysts predicted that CDnow lacked the funding to survive the rest of the year, even with infusions of more than $30 million from Columbia House parents Sony Corp. and Time Warner.

CDnow repeatedly has said it has cash to continue operating through Sept. 30, but cannot guarantee it will be able to get the necessary financing to continue beyond that date. The company has hired investment bankers Allen & Co., New York, to identify potential suitors.

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