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Sony-EMI Deal Clears Major Hurdle

Publication Date: 
April 20, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Alex Pham

Professor Mark Lemley spoke with Alex Pham of the Los Angeles Times about his expectations on whether the EU will approve Sony Corp.'s $2.2 billion acquisition of EMI's publishing business.

The European Union's antitrust regulators have approved Sony Corp.'s $2.2-billion acquisition of EMI's publishing business, clearing a major hurdle in Sony's ambition to create the world's largest music publishing group with rights to about 2 million songs, including some by David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and Pink.

The deal announced Thursday still needs to clear U.S. regulators, who have historically been more lenient than their European counterparts. Nevertheless, antitrust experts cautioned against celebrating too soon.


"The EU is traditionally a higher hurdle to merger approval than U.S. agencies, but the [Federal Trade Commission] has been more active of late," said Mark A. Lemley, an antitrust professor and the director of Stanford Law School's Program in Law, Science and Technology. "I expect they will approve the merger, but it's not a done deal."