Partnership would tackle common issues.

The National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and the Video Software Dealers Assn. (VSDA) jointly announced today (June 11) that they have entered into talks to explore a merger.

According to their statement, the trade organizations may also explore "other mutually beneficial business or strategic" relationships.

The groups say a formal letter of intent is being finalized.

The merger talks stem from the fact that the bodies are now facing similar retail issues. "The digital and Internet revolution has increased the number of issues in common to members of both organizations," the statement says. "In addition to industry consolidation and other economic factors, matters pertaining to piracy, copyright law, First Amendment protections, theft prevention, formats, packaging and labeling, emerging business models, digital delivery and the like concern our members."

A steering committee with representatives from both NARM and the VSDA will be formed to negotiate the partnership.