One of the most famous labels in the history of the music industry has been sold. According to the Washington Post, "EMI Group Ltd., the iconic British music company that is home to The Beatles, Coldplay and Katy Perry, is being split and sold for $4.1 billion."
The article continues, "The deals will open EMI’s buyers, Universal Music and Sony/ATV, to regulatory scrutiny as they increase their dominance of the music industry. Universal Music Group said Friday (Nov. 11, 2011) that it will pay 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) for the recording division, joining Universal artists including Lady Gaga and Eminem with EMI superstars such as David Guetta and Lady Antebellum.
"A consortium led by Sony/ATV reached a separate deal to pay $2.2 billion for EMI’s publishing division, according to a person familiar with the matter. That business is in charge of songwriting copyrights for such artists as Rihanna and Adele."
The story also explains that "The purchases would give Universal Music and Sony/ATV undue negotiating power over artists and distributors of music, even powerhouses such as Apple Inc.’s iTunes, [according to Impala, an association of European independent music companies that is against the deal]. Both deals are expected to be carefully reviewed in Europe, the U.S., Japan and Australia. Even if regulators approve, they could force the sale of key assets or attach other terms."
A Bloomberg BusinessWeek story about the deal notes, " ‘Buying EMI, Universal will go from being the largest recorded music company to significantly the largest recorded music company,’ [said Ben Rumley, an analyst at Enders Analysis in London], adding, ‘Universal can generate huge economies of scale.’ "