Bloomberg News

Sony Offers Compromises to EU on EMI Deal

March 27, 2012

A Sony Corp.-led group offered compromises to European Union regulators examining its $2.2 billion purchase of EMI Group’s publishing unit to address antitrust concerns.

The European Commission extended its deadline to rule on the deal until April 19 after the companies made the offer, according to a filing on its website. It didn’t give any details of the proposed remedies.

The EU is probing the offer from the Sony-led group, which includes the Michael Jackson estate, Mubadala Development Co. and Blackstone Group. (BX:US) It is also conducting an in-depth probe of Universal Music Group’s offer to buy parts of the EMI record label.

The Sony-led group “continues to engage constructively with the commission regarding its proposed acquisition of EMI Music Publishing,” Sony/ATV spokesman Jimmy Asci said in an e- mailed statement. It “remains confident that the transaction will be approved.”

Asci declined to comment on what concessions the consortium had offered. The European Commission also declined to comment.

Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal had said it expected an in-depth probe into its plan to buy EMI’s recorded-music business, which includes the Beatles albums. Sony has agreed to buy the publishing business, which owns copyrights to songs and represents songwriters, including Beyonce, Jay-Z and Tinie Tempah.

The Sony group’s rivals and customers were quizzed by EU antitrust regulators examining whether the purchase would allow it to increase prices. The EU also asked whether licenses for Sony and EMI’s music portfolio were critical for online music services, according to a copy of the questionnaire seen by Bloomberg News. The European Commission had a previous deadline of April 2 to rule on the bid.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net; Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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