Sony slashes jobs at online music unit

Internet music retailer Sony Connect. is eliminating some positions as part of a restructuring plan to shift resources to other online services, but it intends to continue operating, an Associated Press report said.

The company denied a report that suggested the job cuts are a prelude to shutting down its music service in a matter of weeks, the Associated Press report said.

Sony Connect is shifting emphasis to other network services, specifically one for users of the PlayStation game console, the company said.

Sony Connect, a unit of Sony of America, did not disclose the scope of the job cuts, but a person at the company familiar with the restructuring told The Associated Press about 20 of the 90 positions will be eliminated.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the company has not made details on the layoffs public, the Associated Press report said.

In addition to selling music downloads, Sony Connect also operates an e-book download store called Sony Reader that launched last year, it added.

Sony Connect launched in 2004, but like other online music services, it has had a tough time competing against Apple's iTunes Music Store, which is tied to the market-leading iPod portable player, the report further said.