Napster bought by online music service Rhapsody

Napster has been bought by US online music service Rhapsody from its previous owner, electronics retailer Best Buy.

Rhapsody isn't saying how much it paid for the online music service, whose original bad-boy peer-to-peer file-sharing incarnation was shut down by the US courts for copyright infringement.

Under the terms of the deal, Best Buy will retain a minority holding in the company it purchased in 2008 for US $121 million £78 million).

Announcing the deal, Rhapsody president Jon Irwin said in a statement:"This deal will further extend Rhapsody's lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market.

"There's substantial value in bringing Napster's subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody as we execute on our strategy to expand our business via direct acquisition of members and distribution deals.

"This is a 'go big or go home' business, so our focus is on sustainably growing the company."

And Rhapsody has its work cut out, with stiff competition in the online music market from iTunes, Pandora and newcomer Spotify, which recently joined forces with Facebook to add social music sharing to the social networking site, allowing Facebook users to bypass its invite-only US release.