Feeds

Sony, Bertelsmann agree to merge music labels

Will the anti-trust troops say yes?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Sony and Bertelsmann have agreed to merge their two music operations into a single business and potentially create the world's largest music label.

Both will each take a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture, to be called Sony BMG - if the move wins the support of US, European and other nations' regulatory authorities. The JV's board would contain equal representation from both partners.

Precise terms of the merger - if it goes ahead - were not disclosed. However, both participants said the arrangement would not include their respective music publishing, distribution and manufacturing operations.

If the deal goes through, it will take the JV's global market share to 26 per cent - just ahead of the current market leader, Universal, which current has around 24 per cent of the market.

Sony and BMG have been in merger talks for some time. Right now, EMI and Time Warner are also discussing bringing their two music businesses together. If their talks go the way of Sony and BMG's, and they too gain regulatory approval, then the world will end up with three major labels and an almost perfect four-way split between them and the collected independent labels, which together account for around 25 per cent of the world music market.

The main hurdle remains the anti-trust authorities. A previous attempt by EMI and Warner to merge their music businesses in 2000 collapsed on fears that the European Commission would not sanction the deal. That led to talks between EMI and BMG, which also failed to reach a conclusion. ®

Related Story

Your 99c belong to the RIAA - Steve Jobs

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.