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Sony alliance gets EU approval to buy EMI music publishing

updated 02:35 pm EDT, Thu April 19, 2012

Sony to now publish much of EMI music

A group led by Sony on Thursday won its side of a joint bid on EMI assets. The alliance, which includes the Blackstone Group, David Geffen, Mubadala Development, and Raine Group, was cleared by the European Commission to buy EMI's publishing wing for $2.2 billion. The deal is contingent on Sony's group selling off catalog rights for Virgin's European, UK, and US divisions, along with Famous Music UK.

The handover, meant by the Commission to promote competition, will see musicians like Ozzy Osbourne and Lenny Kravitz change publishers. A completed transition is expected within the next few months.

Sony in making the deal will still become the largest publisher, leapfrogging Universal and Warner in the process. The arrangement could shift the dynamics for negotiating digital rights and other future deals.

Universal's own attempt to get the other half of EMI's business, its core recording business, is currently under tight Commission scrutiny and may be blocked for handing too much power to a company that was already larger before the proposed acquisition. [via Reuters]

by MacNN Staff



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