Sony Becomes Largest Music Publisher with EU Approval of EMI Deal

  • A Sony-led consortium that includes the Blackstone Group, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co., Raine Group and David Geffen, has received EU approval for its $2.2 billion purchase of EMI’s music publishing business.
  • The deal includes a provision to sell some assets to address the concern about unfair competition. Those assets include Virgin UK, Virgin Europe, Virgin U.S. and Famous Music UK — plus catalogs of artists such as Gary Barlow, Ozzy Osbourne, Ben Harper, Placebo, The Kooks, Lenny Kravitz and Robbie Williams.
  • “Sony and Mubadala have offered to divest valuable and attractive catalogs containing bestselling titles as well as works of successful and promising authors,” said Joaquin Almunia, European commissioner for competition issues. “I am therefore satisfied that the competitive dynamics in the online music publishing business will be maintained so as to ensure consumer choice and cultural diversity.”
  • With this deal, Sony becomes the largest music publisher worldwide with rights to some 3 million songs.

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