And Then There Were Four ...
Bertelsmann AG and Sony Corp have a preliminary plan to merge their music businesses, "setting the stage for a music company that would vie for world primacy with Universal Music Group," says ABC News here in a story slugged FRANKFURT, Germany Nov. 6.
A day earlier, "Sony rules out selling music business," was the headline in a Financial Times story here, going on: "Sony on Tuesday ruled out a sale of its music division as the Japanese media and electronics giant sketched out plans to use its entertainment businesses to help drive sales of new consumer electronics devices."
However, the ABC item, from an Associated Press story, apparently has it right.
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Andrew Lack, Sony Music Entertainment's chairman and ceo, is slated to run Sony BMG, with Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, chairman and chief executive of BMG, as chairman of the board, the new company to be equally owned by Sony and Bertelsmann.
All things being equal, Sony BMG would have a combined global market share of 25.2%, "according to the market measurement firm IFPI, just behind the 25.9 percent share held by industry leader Universal Music Group, which is part of the French conglomerate Vivendi Universal," says the report.
"In the U.S. music market, however, the combined company would edge out Universal as the largest, based on the most recent figures available from Nielsen SoundScan. Sony and BMG have a combined 28.3 share of U.S. sales, versus 27.8 percent for Universal, according to SoundScan.
"If the deal goes through it still faces approval by U.S. and European regulators it would combine Sony and BMG's recorded music business but would exclude music publishing, physical distribution and manufacturing."