Analysis

Universal Music Group closes its EMI acquisition


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Universal Music Group has closed its acquisition of former rival EMI’s recorded music division, following the deal’s approval by European and US regulators last week.

The deal, which will see UMG forced to sell off several of EMI’s label subsidiaries to satisfy EC regulators, values EMI’s recorded music division at $1.9bn. The company’s publishing division was sold for $2.2bn earlier this year.

“This is a next step towards ensuring the health of our industry. EMI is finally returning to people who have music in their blood,” said UMG boss Lucian Grainge in a statement.

“We are acquiring incredible labels and a roster of stellar talent, including top-selling artists like Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. We remain true to our vision of investing in EMI, growing the company as a vibrant source of new music, offering consumers more choice and supporting the growth of online music services.”

All eyes will be on UMG’s actions going forward, particularly on that last point. The investigation into the proposed deal by  the European Commission focused on the potential digital impacts in particular, with critics suggesting UMG will be throwing its weight around even more from now on when negotiating with new and existing digital services.

Stuart Dredge

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