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Microsoft tunes into music search with buy

Hoping to boost music offerings on the Microsoft Network, the software giant buys MongoMusic, an online service with advanced music-searching capabilities.

Hoping to boost music offerings on the Microsoft Network, Microsoft today acquired MongoMusic, an online service with advanced music-searching capabilities.

Although the terms of the transaction were not disclosed today, sources close to the deal previously told CNET News.com that Microsoft would pay about $65 million in an all-stock transaction.

The acquisition comes as online music sites MP3.com and Napster are mired in vicious legal battles with the traditional music industry and copyright holders. Music sites, unpopular with the recording industry, remain a favorite destination on the Internet for consumers who want to hear and swap songs.

Trying to sidestep the legal tussle engulfing other music sites, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft stressed today that MongoMusic takes a "collaborative approach" with record labels and artists. The music site, based in Redwood City, Calif., was initially funded by Sony Music and Nokia Ventures.

MongoMusic's assets include a Web-based music player dubbed RadioMongo, which implements MongoMusic's patent-pending Intuitive Music Search System technology. The company in February announced agreements with Riffage.com, Infobeat, Sony, Tower Records and Seagram's Universal Music Group to implement the technology in their online music offerings. The status of those partnerships after Microsoft's acquisition is unclear.