European competition regulators have given the green light to Sony/ATV, Sony's music partner, who wants to buy up EMI's publishing assets which are valued at over two billion dollars. The acquisition would give Sony over a quarter of the world's publishing market.
As part of the deal, Sony agrees to sell off Virgin Records in the US and Europe and also Famous Music in the UK. In return, European Union regulators will forego the standard in-depth investigation into the acquisition. While this step with the EU is only preliminary as the acquisition will still have to be approved by the US, Australia, and Brazil, many are already in opposition due to the large share of the market Sony would control.
Universal Music has also put up a bid to buy a portion of EMI. In November the French owned media company announced plans to acquire the recorded music portion of EMI which would include artists like the Beatles, Katy Perry, and Cold Play.
EMI was purchased by a private equity firm called Terra Firma in 2007, but the music company was lost after the firm was foreclosed on. Citigroup currently controls the EMI assets. EMI sold to Terra Firma in 2007 for $6.8 billion.
The Sony-EMI will mean downsizing at EMI. Sony/ATV plans to cut the workforce by as much as 60% after it takes control at the music company. We'll be watching Sony and EMI as this deal makes its way through the various channels and keeping you updated on the progress.