Sony files buyout of EMI Music Publishing for EU clearance

4 October 2018 11:26am

21 September 2018. By Andrew Boyce

Sony has filed its plan to buy sole control of EMI’s music publishing business for EU merger approval, MLex has learned.

The European Commission is expected to set an initial Oct. 26 deadline to decide on the transaction.

In May, Sony announced that it had reached an agreement to buy UAE-based Mubadala Investment’s 60 percent stake in EMI Music Publishing, which Sony currently jointly controls.

EMI Music Publishing owns or administers the rights to more than two million songs by artists ranging from Queen to Pharrell Williams.

Sony already owns copyrights on more than 2.3 million songs, including the Beatles catalogue, through its Sony/ATV Music Publishing business and other companies.

Independent label association Impala has voiced concerns that the takeover might allow Sony to push up prices for online music services and other customers.

Sony notified the deal as a full Form CO, meaning the commission will carry out a full market investigation, seeking views from a range of customers and rivals. This differs from the more limited inquiries that it conducts under its “simplified” procedure.

The phase I investigation will be extended by 10 working days if the company offers remedies to allay competition concerns.

The commission’s case file number is M.8989.

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