- Associated Press - Thursday, April 19, 2012

BRUSSELS (AP) - The EU’s competition regulator has approved the acquisition of part of famous music company EMI by a group of investors led by Sony.

Sony, together with several investment funds, decided last year to buy EMI’s music publishing business for $2.2 billion.

To get approval for the deal from the European Commission, the buyer promised to sell the publishing rights to several music catalogues as well as the works of 12 artists, including Ozzy Osbourne, Robbie Williams and Ben Harper.

Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Thursday this sell-off would maintain competition in online music publishing and “ensure consumer choice and cultural diversity.”

Universal Music, which wants to buy EMI’s recording business, has to wait until August for the Commission to conclude an in-depth probe of the deal.

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