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Sony Pays Close to a Billion Dollars to Michael Jackson’s Estate for Music Rights




By: Evette Champion

Sony Corp released a statement in which they revealed that they have signed an agreement with Michael Jackson’s estate to pay $750 million for Michael Jackson’s 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing—the world’s largest music publisher. The company controls some of the biggest recordings in modern music. It owns the rights to “New York, New York,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Moon River,” “All You Need Is Love” and “The Mission Impossible Theme.”

Sony waited until September 2015 to exercise its right to contact the Jackson estate as per an agreement in the contract, to buy out the other partner.

“This acquisition will enable Sony to more quickly adapt to changes in the music publishing business,” Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment said in a statement.

The estate will maintain rights to all songs written by Michael, as well as songs written by other artists which Michael purchased during his lifetime.

Michael Jackson became the owner of ATV in 1985 when he paid $40 million for the entity. At the time, there was another person vying for the company—Paul McCartney, which made sense that a former Beatle would want control over the enterprise as it owns the majority of the Beatles back catalog.

In 1995, Jackson sold half of the enterprise to Sony, for $100 million, which is why it is known as Sony/ATV today.

Sony released a statement that said the company and Jackson’s estate is expected to come to a definitive agreement by March 31st.

According to a few statements made from the Jackson family, the sale is to help them pay some of the debts that the estate have incurred, as well as help reestablish some cash reserves. The estate will still have a 10% stake in EMI’s publish arm, Mijack Music.


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