Sony Corporation of America Achieves First Phase Clearance for its Acquisition of EMI Music Publishing

April 19, 2012

Cleary Gottlieb represented Sony Corporation of America in the EU and international antitrust aspects of the $2.2 billion acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by a consortium of investors led by Sony Corporation of America and Mubadala Development Company PJSC. The EMI Music Publishing catalogue will be managed by Sony/ATV Music Publishing (a joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and the Estate of Michael Jackson), creating the world’s largest music publisher.

The acquisition was cleared by the European Commission in the first phase, avoiding the in-depth phase II investigation expected by many industry observers. The Commission had initially expressed reservations about the licensing of the group’s Anglo-American repertoire to online music platforms in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but the Sony-led consortium was able to allay these concerns by proposing to sell off the Virgin and Famous UK music catalogues, together with the contracts of several songwriters.