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Sony proposes sale of Virgin publishing catalogues to sweeten EMI takeover, says Reuters

By | Published on Tuesday 3 April 2012


According to Reuters, the Sony/ATV-led consortium hoping to buy EMI Music Publishing has offered to sell the various Virgin music publishing catalogues currently owned by EMI if its takeover is approved by regulators in Europe and the US.

As previously reported, the European Commission revealed last week that Sony/ATV had proposed concessions to its competition regulators to try and allay fears attached to the music giant’s takeover of the EMI publishing business, which will create by far the biggest music publishing company in the world. As a result, the EC will not announce whether the Sony/ATV bid requires a second phase three month investigation until 19 Apr.

The EC didn’t reveal the specifics of Sony/ATV’s proposed concessions, but Reuters cites two sources as saying a sale of the entire Virgin-branded publishing catalogue in the UK, US and mainland Europe has been proposed, in addition to the strategic sale of some particularly profitable songs owned by both EMI and the existing Sony/ATV company. The newswire reckons the copyrights the bidders are proposing to offload generated fifteen million euros in royalties last year.

Whether that would be enough to satisfy EC and US regulators that EMI Music Publishing being controlled by Sony/ATV doesn’t pose competition issues, not least by giving one group huge power within the collecting society system, remains to be seen. Those who oppose the Sony/ATV/EMI deal are unlikely to be placated even with that proposal.