Bankrupt internet song-swapping service Napster, skewered by the courts for encouraging piracy, may be on the verge of a comeback through a marriage with Pressplay, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment are close to a deal to sell their struggling online music service to Roxio, the company that bought the remains of Napster in a bankruptcy auction last year, it said.

Roxio would pay US$30m in cash and stock for the subscriber-based service, started three years ago as a legal alternative to Napster and similar services.

Pressplay charges a monthly fee of about US$10 for access to an online music library, and has about 50 000 subscribers, the Times said.
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