GUTERSLOH, Germany: European media giant Bertelsmann has inked a deal to sell its 50% stake in music company Sony BMG.

The agreed $900 million (€581.7m; £460.7m) price tag paid by its partner in the troubled joint venture, Japanese electronics titan Sony, is less than Bertlesmann had hoped.

The company will still retain the rights to 200 European artists, but the move is a definite change in direction from traditional media to increasingly service-based businesses.

Says Bertelsmann cfo Thomas Rabe: "We will administer the rights of artists and act as a service provider to artists and other holders of rights."

Data sourced from International Herald-Tribune; additional content by WARC staff