The independent music community has vowed to fight on after European regulators approved Sony ATV’s acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, a deal which the indies say “sends an alarming message” to all small-and-medium sized businesses.
Sony ATV can now take sole control and ownership of EMI Music Publishing after the European Commission last Friday gave its consent, without conditions.
Impala, the pan-European independent music companies’ trade association, had rigorously opposed the proposed transaction, the result of which would create a mega-publisher with 4.21 million compositions, a huge pool of writers, and the ability to combine recordings and publishing. It would “control more music than any other player in the sector,” the Brussels-based lobby body warned.
For more than a year, Sony ATV has been circling the remaining piece of EMI Music it didn’t already own. And the music giant was willing to put a serious offer on the table. As previously reported Sony Corporation will pay about US$2.3 billion for an additional chunk of EMI Music Publishing, valuing the company at US$4.75 billion, including debt.
Since 2012, EMI Music Publishing has been jointly owned and controlled by Sony Corporation of America and Mubadala Investment Company PJSC, an investment fund based in the United Arab Emirates. Sony Corp. signed a “legally binding” memorandum of understanding earlier this year to acquire a 60 percent share in the publisher, which triggered a regulatory probe.