Sony Buys Jackson’s ATV Share

Sony announced March 15 it had acquired the Michael Jackson estate’s share of Sony ATV Music Publishing, a venture that the Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment conglomerate held along with the late King of Pop in a 50-50 partnership. 

Photo: AP Photo
Oktyabrsky Concert Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia

Except for songs that Jackson himself wrote and the estate’s stake in EMI Music, Sony will now own all of the rights to the compositions in the collection, which include works by The Beatles, Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan, as well as newer songs by Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

The company paid $750 million to the Jackson estate. Sony is staking its future on its entertainment and game division rather than its legacy consumer electronics business, which has declined in recent decades with the ascent of other Asian countries in the field.

Michael Jackson bought the original song catalogue in 1985 for $41.5 million, and in 1995 formed Sony ATV Music Publishing with Sony.