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BMG - SONY Merger Awaits Approval
January 01, 2004

BMG-SONY MERGER AWAITS REGULATORY APPROVAL
In the ever-shrinking music industry's latest consolidation effort, BMG and Sony have reached an agreement to merge their music units. The new entity, called Sony BMG, would become the world's second-largest record label behind Universal Music.

The new company, Sony BMG, would be a 50-50 joint venture between the two firms, but would not include music publishing and CD production divisions. Sony BMG's board of directors will be made up of an equal number of members from Sony and Bertelsmann, with BMG CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz becoming chairman and Sony Music head Andrew Lack assuming the title of chief executive.

Sony BMG would be headquartered in New York, but will need to win the approval of regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe, which have shot down earlier mergers by members of the so-called major labels. However, both companies are hoping that the recent difficulties within the music industry will lead to the necessary approvals this time around.

The move follows by several weeks the sale of Warner Music to an investment group led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr. for a reported $2.6 billion


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