Universal bags British label EMI, sells big acts like Guetta
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The world's biggest record company Universal won clearance on Friday to take over EMI, home to the Beatles, but only on condition that it sell off rights to a string of top artists like David Guetta.
European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Universal Music agreed to part company with some of the biggest-selling acts in the business including Coldplay, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Cliff Richard, to get the deal approved.
The disposals represent about two-thirds of the current European business and include EMI's classical music labels as well as the EMI France catalogue, home to superstar Guetta.
The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with EMI putting all-time sales at more than a billion records and huge online revenues continuing.