) deal to buy MP3.com (MPPP
) for $5 per MP3.com share shows industry recognition of the inevitability of online distribution.
Analyst Phil Leigh believes the deal indicates record labels are getting more serious about online music distribution. He notes only nine months ago Vivendi and MP3.com were the bitterest of enemies in vicious fight over copyright infringement. But he notes Vivendi doesn't want renegade versions of Napster-like clones running amok because major labels are not promptly offering consumers some kind of workable, licensed online alternative. He thinks MP3.com's technology will help Vivendi get moving faster.