×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Cleared by EU to Take Full Control of EMI Music Publishing

The European Commission said on Friday that it had approved Sony Corporation of America’s move to take full control of EMI Music Publishing, saying the deal raises no competition concerns. The Commission said it had cleared the transaction without conditions.

Sony Corporation announced the deal, which would see it acquiring Mubadala Investment Company’s 60% equity interest in EMI, in May. Combined with its acquisition of the Michael Jackson Estate’s stake in the company, the proposed deal brings Sony’s stake in EMI to 100%. While the final purchase price to be paid by Sony for all of Mubadala’s equity interest in EMI Music Publishing is subject to customary closing adjustments, the total cash consideration Sony expects to pay to consolidate EMI Music Publishing is approximately $2.3 billion. Since 2012, EMI has been jointly owned and controlled by Sony Corporation of America and Mubadala.

“We are pleased to have received approval from the European Commission and look forward to successfully concluding this transaction,” a Sony spokesperson told Variety. Sources say the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

The deal was approved over the strenuous objection of several European industry organizations, particularly independent-music coalition IMPALA, which was quick to criticize the decision on Friday. In a statement, the company said that the deal allows Sony to “double its catalogue of songs (from 2.16m to 4.21m compositions).”

Helen Smith, IMPALA’s Executive Chair, commented: “This goes against the regulator’s own precedents. In 2012, it ruled that divestments were required for Sony to become a minority shareholder. Now that Sony is acquiring 100% control of EMI, it is being given unconditional approval. This is inconsistent and simply doesn’t stack up. It is a poor advert for European merger control and sends an alarming message to independent businesses in all sectors, not just music.”

“Sony will have a near monopoly over the charts and the whole music value chain will lose out as a result. Songwriters, composers, independent labels and publishers, digital services, and of course music fans, will all be worse off. This decision has dealt a significant blow to innovation and cultural diversity in Europe. IMPALA will review this decision very carefully, and we expect others will too.”

In its statement, the EU said in part: “Since Sony already has joint control of EMI [music publishing], the transaction would not lead to any increase in market share in any of the markets where Sony and EMI are active. Therefore, the Commission focused its investigation on assessing whether Mubadala has acted as a constraint on Sony’s ability to leverage across both recording music and music publishing rights and, in particular, into the potential impact of the removal of this constraint on any hypothetical Sony strategy for EMI.

“As regards the provision of music publishing services to authors, the Commission concluded that, as Sony/ATV and EMI have not competed to sign new authors since 2012, and as Mubadala did not constrain Sony’s strategy before the merger, the merger would not raise competition concerns.”

 

 

More Biz

  • Tan FranceUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los Angeles,

    'Queer Eye' Star Tan France to Host Audiobook Audie Awards

    “Queer Eye” resident style expert Tan France is taking on a slightly different project next month as he hosts the Audie Awards, which honors the best releases and achievements in audiobooks over the past 12 months. The ceremony, which takes place on March 4 in New York, is an annual event organized by the Audio [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Shelly Saltman, Former Fox Sports President and Promoter, Dies at 87

    Sheldon “Shelly” Saltman, the sports promoter behind the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match and Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 87. The original president of Fox Sports, Saltman started his career as a sports announcer before moving to promotions at media companies like the Gillette Cavalcade [...]

  • Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint

    Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint Venture

    Arista Records and Smokepurpp/ Lil Mosey manager Josh Marshall today announced the launch of Mogul Vision Music, a new joint venture label focused on “breaking extraordinary talent and building artist careers through innovative A&R, branding and marketing strategy,” according to the announcement. Based in New York with Marshall (pictured above left, with Massey) as its CEO, the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack

    Jussie Smollett is facing prison time and the implosion of his career if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime, legal and public relations experts say. “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot,” said Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations. “If he [...]

  • Gerrit Meier Variety Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Red Bull Practically Invented Branded Entertainment. What's Next?

    With memorable moves like sponsoring Felix Baumgartner’s jump from outer space in 2012 to achieve the world’s farthest ever-parachute drop, Red Bull has been a pioneering force in branded entertainment. While known best for its line of energy drinks, the beverage maker has eschewed traditional marketing for content that blurred the boundaries between advertising and [...]

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the

    Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the Red but Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in the red for the fourth straight year, but there are signs of improvement. For the financial year to end-September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content