EMI May Give Up Pink Floyd Catalog To Get European Merger Approval

Over the last four years, EMI has seen a number of high profile artists jump ship from the troubled company including the Rolling Stones, Queen (both to Universal) and Paul McCartney (to Concord). One of their biggest remaining catalogs belonged to Pink Floyd; however, to get regulatory approval of their merger with Universal, they may be forced to give up that control.

A letter from Roger Faxon, the CEO of EMI Music, lays out a number of major divestitures that they hope will clear the way for the merger. The letter lists:
  • In the UK, an entity composed of the rosters and catalogues of Parlophone (excluding the Beatles, both as a group and individually), Mute, Chrysalis (excluding the Robbie Williams catalogue) and Ensign would be sold. Included in that disposal would also be the Pink Floyd catalogue and the recently concluded new deal with David Guetta, along with his catalogue. Note that these disposals only relate to exploitation of this repertoire within the EEA.
  • EMI Classics and Virgin Classics would also be divested in the EEA.
  • EMI's share of the NOW brand and compilation business in the EEA would also be sold. However Universal would keep its share and participation in the Now compilation venture. The proposal also includes the divestment of a number of EMI's operating businesses in Continental Europe. Those local operating companies are EMI France, EMI Belgium, EMI Czech Republic, EMI Poland, EMI Portugal, EMI Sweden and EMI Norway.
  • Universal is also proposing to divest some its own businesses, principal among which are Sanctuary, Co-Op, and UMG Greece plus several European jazz labels.
  • They would also commit to terminate or not to bid for a number of high-profile European licenses for major Anglo-American and domestic repertoire, namely Disney Records, Hollywood Records, Ministry of Sound, and Restos du Coeur in France.
Pink Floyd won a court case against EMI in 2010 stopping the company from selling their music digitally in anything but full album packages.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Pink Floyd owns its recordings from "Wish You Were Here"onwards, and EMI's most recent 5 year license ends in two and a half years. And in that latest deal, EMI may have given up the ownership of the 1967-72 albums anyhow. You'll note that the copyright information for the "Immersion" edition of "The Dark Side of the Moon" lists "Pink Floyd Music Limited" as publisher & copyright holder.
With EMI's future highly uncertain, the surviving Pink Floyd members will almost certainly move the recordings to their second favorite label Sony at the soonest possible moment.

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