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ENCINO, CA/WILTON, CT (April 11, 2006) … The Boards of Directors of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) have voted to merge into a single trade association to represent the retailers and distributors of video and video game products. The announcement of the impending merger was made jointly today by VSDA Chairman Bob Geistman and IEMA Chairman Rick Vergara.

The merger will bring together mass merchants, video specialty stores, video game specialty retailers, online merchants, electronics retailers, entertainment combo stores, and others that retail and wholesale DVDs, console video games, and computer video games. The combined trade association, whose name will be announced later, will provide its members with knowledge-sharing forums, networking opportunities, legislative and legal advocacy, research services, and other trade association offerings.

“This is a great development for both the video and video game industries,” said IEMA Chairman Rick Vergara. “The merger will create a more efficient and influential organization to serve the needs of video and video game retailers and distributors. The interests of the membership of the two associations are so closely aligned that we expect a seamless integration.”

“By coming together in one organization, the retailers and distributors of DVDs and video games will increase their collective power and benefit from the business acumen and product knowledge of one another,” declared VSDA Chairman Bob Geistman. “We are convinced that one association can accomplish even more than two working separately.”

About the IEMA:
The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) is the non-profit trade association dedicated to serving the business interests of leading retailers that sell interactive entertainment software (including video and computer games, multimedia entertainment, peripherals and other software). Member companies of the IEMA collectively account for approximately seventy-five percent of the $10 billion annual interactive entertainment business in the United States. [http://www.iema.org]

Established in 1981, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) is the not-for-profit international trade association for the $24 billion home entertainment industry. VSDA represents more than 1,000 companies throughout the United States, Canada, and other nations. Its members operate more than 12,500 retail outlets in the U.S. that sell and/or rent DVDs, VHS cassettes, and console video games. Membership comprises the full spectrum of video retailers (from single-store operators to large chains), video distributors, the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture studios, and other related businesses that constitute and support the home video entertainment industry.

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