The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is to investigate Sony’s acquisition of AWAL and Kobalt’s Neighbouring Rights.
Sony Music Entertainment today announced that it has completed its acquisition of AWAL, one of the leading providers of services to independent recording artists.
The deal included Kobalt’s Neighbouring Rights business, one of the key players in the booming sector.
In a statement, the CMA said: "We’ve imposed an initial enforcement order on Sony Music Entertainment’s purchase of the AWAL and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights businesses. This requires the purchased businesses to operate separately from Sony Music whilst we investigate the deal.”
The CMA is seeking written representations about any competition or public interest.
We have seen an incremental shift towards a music market in which a few dominant players have disproportionate influence
AIM and IMPALA confirmed that they are having conversations with the CMA.
Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM, said: “Over the last several years we have seen an incremental shift towards a music market in which a few dominant players have disproportionate influence. Each increment counts, and it is crucial to the future health of the market to ensure that all players can take part on a meritocratic basis.”
Prior to the closing of the acquisition, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initiated a review of the transaction. Sony Music said it “continues to work closely with the CMA to secure a positive outcome later this year”.
AWAL and Neighbouring Rights will become a new division within SME’s suite of independent artist and label services offerings and will be enhanced by the technology and network of SME’s independent music distribution company, The Orchard.
Lonny Olinick will remain AWAL’s CEO.