Sony Takeover EMI (a.k.a. “What Up With Da Big Foe?”)


Interesting that we just returned from a visit from EMI Spain but no one at the company seemed to touch this subject.

Apparently last Thursday, Sony proposed a $2.2 billion takeover of EMI Music Publishing. Now they haven’t said too much about the deal but they have at least told the public that Sony doesn’t plan on just crushing everything that its competitor (EMI) has worked for. However, Sony will be diminishing about 60% of EMI’s publishing staff within two years. That’s supposed to save around $70 million in yearly savings. (Apparently, that’s only 326 jobs – Nothing like the 10,000 jobs Sony got rid of in Japan a few weeks ago). And allegedly, Sony’s getting 15% of net publisher’s share (revenue minus royalties to songwriters).


This new deal one half of a split deal reached by Citigroup in 2011. EMI is being split between Sony & Universal. Universal bought out EMI’s record labels for $1.9 billion.

(I love how billions and millions are just being tossed around here like coupons.)


A lot of indie labels &consumer advocates aren’t too happy with these deals. They see “bigger monopolies” written all over. Sony’s publishing includes Michael Jackson’s estate, the Beatles catalog, & over 750k songs. EMI has 1.3 million songs and is known to be the most highly regarded company in publishing, boasting timeless classics & standards like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Prospects state that the combined publishing assets of EMI & Sony will represent the world’s largest publishing catalog with a #1 market share on a combined basis.

Doesn’t sound 100% excellent for EMI. But I hope that all parties (including EMI) are better off in the future.

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