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Vivendi Universal Creates U.S. Net Group

Vivendi Universal Monday said it has formed a new business unit under which it will operate its music, games and educational Web sites.

Based in Los Angeles, Vivendi Universal Net USA's Web property list both consists of Vivendi's own original properties and reads like a who's who of firms that Vivendi has acquired in the past year. It includes: MP3.com; EMusic.com; GetMusic.com; RollingStone.com; Inside Sessions; Flipside; Uproar; Iwin; Virtual Vegas; parts of Education.com and the MP4 video site. These sites have a combined U.S. visitor base of 36.5 million.

To sweeten the deal for consumers and potential partners, Vivendi Universal Net USA will also provide online applications and infrastructure technologies to promotional sites serving record labels, film makers, studios, games and education.

The new unit will be commandeered by Robin D. Richards, who became chairman and chief executive officer of the media giant's MP3.com last month. As CEO, Richards will report to Philippe Germond, CEO of Vivendi Universal Net.

Germond said the new structure will allow for closer alignment of its business units with its Internet organization.