Sony Music’s $430m buyout of AWAL provisionally cleared by UK competitors watchdog

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Sony Music Leisure couldn’t have requested for a greater begin to the weekend.

At the moment (February 11), the UK’s Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed its provisional choice over Sony‘s $430 million buyout of AWAL – and it’s given the deal the inexperienced gentle.

The approval concludes a months-long investigation into SME’s acquisition of AWAL from Kobalt Music Group in early 2021.

In an announcement issued on the AWAL buyout in the present day, the CMA stated: “Having examined the merger, the CMA has provisionally concluded that the deal doesn’t considerably scale back competitors within the UK and will not be anticipated to take action sooner or later.”

Margot Daly, Chair of the unbiased CMA Inquiry Group, commented: “We now have rigorously assessed whether or not this merger will result in detrimental outcomes for the market, artists and, finally, music followers, now and sooner or later. Our provisional discovering is that the deal just isn’t more likely to have an effect on competitors in a approach that may scale back the selection or high quality of recorded music accessible, or enhance costs.

“We expect {that a} mixture of different main labels and unbiased suppliers will proceed to intently rival Sony, so our provisional choice is to clear the merger.”

Margot Daly, CMA Inquiry Group

“We expect {that a} mixture of different main labels and unbiased suppliers will proceed to intently rival Sony, so our provisional choice is to clear the merger.”

The CMA is now asking for views on these provisional findings by 4 March 2022 and can assess all proof offered earlier than making a remaining choice on or earlier than March 17.

Sony Music stated in an announcement in the present day in response to the CMA’s announcement: “Sony Music Leisure welcomes the CMA’s provisional dedication that its acquisition of AWAL raises no competitors issues and, in doing so, its recognition of the aggressive and dynamic nature of the UK music market.

“Our funding in AWAL will ship actual advantages for artists and customers, amidst intense competitors at each stage of the music trade.”

Sony Music assertion

“Our funding in AWAL will ship actual advantages for artists and customers, amidst intense competitors at each stage of the music trade.

“We stay up for persevering with to work with the CMA all through the ultimate phases of their assessment.”


In February final 12 months, MBW broke the information that Sony Music was to amass AWAL and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights (previously Kobalt Neighbouring Rights), in a joint deal from Kobalt Music Group.

Sony Music then confirmed three months later that it had formally accomplished the acquisition of the 2 corporations for $430 million.

In the identical week, the UK’s competitors authority introduced that it was opening an investigation into the buyout.

Issues didn’t begin effectively for Sony: In September final 12 months, the CMA introduced that it had determined to elevate the investigation into the AWAL acquisition from ‘Section One’ into the extra critical ‘Section Two’.

The CMA then confirmed the world simply how critical ‘Section Two’ may get for multi-nationals: In November, it dominated that Fb (aka Meta) should promote considered one of its current acquisitions, the animated picture database Giphy.

On the core of the issues over Sony’s buyout of AWAL expressed by the CMA was that the deal “may result in worse phrases for artists and fewer innovation within the music sector”.

Sony rebutted that AWAL solely had a “small share” of the worldwide distribution market.

In an October submitting with the CMA, Sony Music wrote: “Even after AWAL’s re-launch in 2017/18, it’s nonetheless a small participant and faces competitors from a large number of different A&L and DIY suppliers, together with ConsiderBMG, CD Child, DistroKid, DittoPIAS, and Tunecore.”Music Enterprise Worldwide

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