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August 4, 2010 | By Chris Lee, Los Angeles Times
With attention still fixated on the identity of the new judges on Fox's "American Idol," producers Tuesday sent another signal that they're taking the show in a new direction by announcing a recording distribution deal with Universal Music Group, ending a long relationship with Sony Music. Under the agreement, UMG's Interscope Geffen A&M Records will distribute, promote and market albums from "Idol" finalists and winners starting next year when the show's 10th season launches. Sony's deal expired after the ninth season ended in May. Few details were announced, including the cost of the contract, but if UMG's deal is similar to the one Sony had, the company will have right of first refusal for the final 12 contestants on "American Idol."
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BUSINESS
March 8, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Lucian Grainge has a vision for the future of the music business that bears scant resemblance to the traditional record company playbook. He is putting songs on smartphones in Africa, reviving moribund American record labels and making Lorde into a Grammy-winning global sensation. Above all, he wants to forge new partnerships with his industry's erstwhile adversaries - the technology firms that have upended the way people get their music. Skeptics question whether anyone can reverse the decline of an industry that has seen global sales plummet from $28 billion in 1999 to $16.5 billion in 2012.
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BUSINESS
April 13, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Universal Music Group revived its Mercury label in the U.S. and named Sony BMG Music Entertainment executive David Massey as president. Mercury, whose roster once included John Mellencamp and Kiss, will be part of the New York-based Island Def Jam Music Group, Universal said. Mercury will operate separately in Britain.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Music entrepreneurs Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind, together with friend and veteran film and TV producer Brian Robbins, have partnered with Universal Music Group to launch All Def Music, a label created expressly to sign, develop and promote YouTube artists. All Def Music label will seek to identify and cultivate music talent bubbling up on YouTube, in much the same way Rifkind and Simmons once hit the streets in pursuit of promising hip-hop acts for their respective labels, Loud Records and Def Jam. "How [Russell]
BUSINESS
June 16, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi's Universal Music Group said Friday that it had agreed to buy Sanctuary Group for $88 million to add merchandising and management of artists including Elton John. Universal Music's Centenary Music Holdings Ltd. will pay about 39 cents a share in cash for Sanctuary. That's 13% more than Thursday's closing price for London-based Sanctuary. The deal broadens Universal Music's scope, adding merchandising, artist management and talent businesses, as the company looks for new revenue streams.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2012 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Rob Wells is president of global digital business at Universal Music Group. With a global staff of 75 and an office that sits next to the company's chief executive in Santa Monica, Wells must chart the digital course for the world's largest record company. The opening act: Wells landed his first record company job in 1994 at BMG Entertainment in his native Britain, where his job included sorting through the company's fan mail and building a database of customer names and addresses for promotional mailings.
BUSINESS
March 8, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Lucian Grainge has a vision for the future of the music business that bears scant resemblance to the traditional record company playbook. He is putting songs on smartphones in Africa, reviving moribund American record labels and making Lorde into a Grammy-winning global sensation. Above all, he wants to forge new partnerships with his industry's erstwhile adversaries - the technology firms that have upended the way people get their music. Skeptics question whether anyone can reverse the decline of an industry that has seen global sales plummet from $28 billion in 1999 to $16.5 billion in 2012.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Doug Morris has been named the new chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment, an appointment that was widely expected when Morris last year said he would step down as head of Universal Music Group at the end of 2010. Morris, 72, will succeed Rolf Schmidt-Holz on July 1, and Schmidt-Holz will exit Sony at the end of the month, when his contract expires. In the interim, Sony Corp. Chairman Howard Stringer will helm the music company. In a high-level corporate talent swap, a number of Sony executives are expected to move to Universal over the next few months, including Barry Weiss, the chairman of Sony's RCA/Jive Label Group, who is expected to lead Universal's operations in New York.
OPINION
August 7, 2012
Universal Music Group is the largest of the four major record companies, and its proposed purchase of EMI Music would make it even larger. With piracy rampant and a handful of big retailers responsible for much of the remaining sales, Universal argues that there's no harm in letting it swallow up EMI, by far the smallest of the major labels in the United States. But the online music stores and services such as Spotify that are helping the industry regain its footing could be harmed if the merger lets the newly combined companies command disproportionate licensing fees.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2000 | From Bloomberg News
Seagram Co.'s Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, is in talks to buy Rondor Music for $400 million to $500 million, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Rondor Music was started in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, the founders and former co-heads of A&M Records. The Hollywood Reporter earlier today reported that the talks were in an advanced stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Jay-Z might have been instrumental in bringing the Nets to Brooklyn and christening the team's home arena, Barclays Center , but the hip-hop mogul has sold his stake in the NBA team. “It was never about an investment; it was about the NETS and Brooklyn. My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun,” he announced in a letter posted on Life+Times website on Thursday. The rapper was forced to sell his share in the team in order to pursue his recently announced Roc Nation Sports, which snagged New York Yankees star Robinson Cano as its first signee.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z, and Universal Music Group have entered a multiyear, worldwide partnership, the companies announced Monday. The venture will allow the Roc Nation music label to operate as a standalone within the UMG family -- the largest music company -- effective immediately. As part of the agreement, forthcoming albums from Jay-Z, Rihanna and others will be released through UMG worldwide, according to the announcement. “This agreement presents a unique opportunity for Roc Nation's artists -- being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major,” Jay-Z, who founded the entertainment company in 2008, said in a statement.
BUSINESS
September 22, 2012 | By Randy Lewis and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Regulators in the U.S. and Europe on Friday approved Universal Music Group's $1.9-billion acquisition of EMI Group Ltd.'s music division, giving the Los Angeles-based music company control of the Beatles music catalog and the iconic Abbey Road studios in London, but forcing it to divest interest in the music of Coldplay. The merger will create an even larger global music conglomerate and put the vast majority of commercially released music into the hands of three international giants: the Universal, Sony and Warner music groups.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2012 | By Alex Pham
The European Commission's competition committee is scheduled Friday to deliberate whether it will approve Universal Music Group's proposed $2.2-billion merger with EMI Music, according to industry officials. If approved by antitrust regulators in Europe and the U.S., the deal would create the world's largest record company, with a market share of nearly 40%. Even so, traditional record labels don't wield as much power as they once did in prior decades when they controlled the physical distribution of music to retail stores.
OPINION
August 7, 2012
Universal Music Group is the largest of the four major record companies, and its proposed purchase of EMI Music would make it even larger. With piracy rampant and a handful of big retailers responsible for much of the remaining sales, Universal argues that there's no harm in letting it swallow up EMI, by far the smallest of the major labels in the United States. But the online music stores and services such as Spotify that are helping the industry regain its footing could be harmed if the merger lets the newly combined companies command disproportionate licensing fees.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | By Alex Pham
Universal Music Group has submitted a proposal to the European Commission to sell off major assets in exchange for regulatory approval for its proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI Recorded Music, the company said. Because the deal would reduce the number of major record labels to three from four, regulators around the globe have launched antitrust reviews to determine whether the combined company would wield too much market power. To appease European Union officials, who have insisted that Universal's market share not exceed 40% in any EU country, the Los Angeles music giant has devised a plan to sell off key properties.  Roger Faxon, EMI's chief executive, on Friday gave a detailed list of the assets to be sold in a memo to employees that was obtained by The Times.
BUSINESS
September 22, 2012 | By Randy Lewis and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Regulators in the U.S. and Europe on Friday approved Universal Music Group's $1.9-billion acquisition of EMI Group Ltd.'s music division, giving the Los Angeles-based music company control of the Beatles music catalog and the iconic Abbey Road studios in London, but forcing it to divest interest in the music of Coldplay. The merger will create an even larger global music conglomerate and put the vast majority of commercially released music into the hands of three international giants: the Universal, Sony and Warner music groups.
BUSINESS
June 30, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Who is the real Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo? To federal investigators, he is pure trouble. They contend that Lorenzo opened the door of his legitimate business -- the Vivendi Universal-funded Murder Inc. record label -- to a convicted street criminal, Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff. McGriff, they say, used the company to launder cash from illegal drug sales. Lorenzo, in his first public discussion of those claims, tells a much different story. He describes himself as a loyal friend who did nothing worse than help the financially strapped ex-con go straight, and fulfill a dream, by producing a low-budget action film called "Crime Partners."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2012 | By Alex Pham
BMG Rights Management has raised its hand as a potential buyer for Parlophone Records, a boutique record label in Britain whose artists include Coldplay, Chemical Brothers and Sigur Ros, according to a music executive familiar with the discussions. BMG is the latest to express a desire to purchase any assets that Universal Music Group divests to secure the approval of European antitrust regulators for its proposed $1.9-billion acquisition of EMI. That deal would reduce the number of major record labels in the world to three from four.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2012 | By Alex Pham
The climate is heating up for Universal Music Group in Brussels as the company shuttles its proposal to buy EMI's recorded music business through Europe's labyrinthine antitrust approval process. The pending $1.9-billion acquisition, announced in November, would solidify Universal's ranking as the world's largest music company and reduce the number of major labels from four to three. To satisfy the European Commission's concern that the union would create a Leviathan with undue market power, Universal Music is expected on Thursday to submit a list of assets it is prepared to sell in order to dilute its presence in several key European countries, according to executives knowledgeable with the commission's review.
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