Sony, BMG Merge Music Groups

After months of speculation, Sony Music and BMG have merged their music divisions to form the world's second largest music group, Sony BMG.<brUnder the deal, which was announced today by Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corporation, the two companies will be equal partners in the music business."I am convinced that this merger will give us the possibility to create better products for consumers around the globe and to react more effectively to the needs of artists," said Andrew Lack, Sony Corporation's Chief Executive of Entertainment.Lack will head the new company, which still faces approval from regulators in the United States and the European Union.Sony Music is home to such hip-hop acts as 36 Mafia, Bravehearts, Nas, Bow Wow and Cypress Hill, while BMG counts Busta Rhymes, Wyclef, Bonecrusher, Outkast, Da Brat, DJ Quik and others as artists through their music group.