The buyout deal between Sony and Bertelsmann in which the former company has acquired the latter’s 50 oer cent slice of Sony BMG was finally concluded today.
This deal means that Sony Corporation of America now completely owns Sony Music Entertainment as a subsidiary.
SMEI is comprised of premier music labels such as: Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records, and Zomba. Key recording artists include Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Jay Chou.
Against bitter complaints on part of Europe’s independent music sector, the European Commission this week approved Sony’s $1.2bn acquisition of Bertelsmann’s 50% stake in Sony BMG, clearing the way for the group to be renamed Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
As part of the deal, Bertelsmann must take over “selected” European catalogues of music rights from Sony BMG, however, competing independent firms don’t believe this is enough.
Raising the question of what might happen if Apple Computer had acquired EMI, for example, Impala co-president Michel Lambot warned, “They’ve just let the world’s largest consumer electronics company merge with the second largest music company without any detailed investigation.”