The Tokyo-based retail CD and DVD rental giant Culture Convenience Club (CCC), which operates the industry-leading chain Tsutaya, has annulled its purchase of the HMV Japan chain of retail music stores.

On March 25 CCC announced that it would purchase the entirety of the shares of HMV Japan from Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments (DPI), effective June 30 (March 29, 2010, Billboard.biz). But on its website on June 30 CCC noted that it could not agree on a sale price with DPI.

HMV Japan currently has 44 stores throughout the country but announced on June 8 the closure of four in August, including its flagship Shibuya store (June 8, 2010, Billboard.biz).

Some industry observers speculate that CCC was not satisfied with HMV Japan's profitability.

The Japanese recorded music market lost one quarter of it physical market in 2009 according to Soft International Planning, the company that operates Soundscan Japan (January 26, 2010, Billboard.biz).

The U.K.-based retail music giant HMV Group opened a wholly owned Japanese subsidiary in 1990. It had seen it sales shrink and in 2007 HMV Group sold its shares in HMV Japan to Daiwa Securities (DPI).

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