Sony Music Entertainment was sued on Wednesday by the U.S. government, which claimed the music company violated federal rules aimed at protecting the online privacy of children.

Sony Music improperly accepted registrations on its music Web sites from users who were under 13, without obtaining consent from their parents, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The civil suit, which seeks unspecified monetary penalties, said Sony Music was in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. The case was brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan.

The lawsuit said Sony Music's notice of its information practices on its website did not clearly or accurately disclose how it collected and used the information.

A Sony Music representative was not immediately available for comment.

Sony Corp, the Japanese consumer electronics company, agreed in August to buy full ownership of the Sony BMG music group, saying it would purchase Bertelsmann AG's 50 percent stake in their joint venture for around $900 million.

The new music company, the second biggest after Vivendi SA unit Universal, was renamed Sony Music Entertainment and is a wholly owned unit of Sony Corp of America, Sony said.

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