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EMI Group Sold As Two Separate Pieces To Universal Music And Sony

Publication Date: 
November 12, 2011
Los Angeles Today
Alex Pham

Professor Mark Lemley spoke with Alex Pham of Los Angeles Today to discuss the sale of EMI Group and why antitrust regulators are letting through mergers in even more concentrated markets.

The century-old EMI Group music company has been split in two and sold for $4.1 billion to Universal Music Group and Sony Corp. The absorption of the music giant leaves only three major record companies in control of an eroding industry.

The deal announced Friday calls for Universal to acquire EMI's recorded music division from EMI parent company Citigroup Inc. for $1.9 billion, and Sony to acquire the smaller but more lucrative music publishing business for $2.2 billion.


"In a different era, a merger between any of those companies would raise major red flags at the antitrust division," said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School.

Citing Sirius' 2008 merger with satellite radio rival XM, and Live Nation Entertainment's merger with Ticketmaster last year, Lemley said: "They're letting through mergers in even more concentrated markets, and even some that looked like the merger that created monopolies."