EU antitrust regulators on Monday cleared Sony Corp’s bid to buy out Michael Jackson’s stake in its music publishing joint venture.
One of the biggest music publishing deals in living memory has been given unconditional approval by EU regulators. Sony Corp. can now buy out the 50% stake in Sony/ATV that was owned by Michael Jackson (and subsequently controlled by his estate following his death in 2009), with a price tag of $750m.
The European Commission said the deal would not hurt competition in the recorded music and music publishing industries. “The transaction will not materially increase Sony’s market power vis-a-vis digital music providers compared to the situation prior to the merger,” the EU competition enforcer said in a statement.
Rival Warner Music Group and independent labels had called the Commission to take a tough line with the deal because they feared it would give Sony too much power.