Universal Pulls Out Of $31 Million Prince Licensing Deal

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (CelebrityAccess) — Universal Music Group has formally ended its $31 million deal with the Prince estate for the late artist's recorded music catalog and demanded that their money back.

According to Billboard, the failure of the deal was revealed in a partly-redacted letter submitted to Carver County District Court in Minnesota on behalf of the estate's administrator Comerica bank.

In the letter, a rep wrote that UMG accused former estate entertainment advisor L. Londell McMillan of fraudulent inducement in connection with the agreement.

The primary point of contention in the deal appears to be an agreement that granted UMG the exclusive licensing rights to Prince's post-1996 catalog released under NPG Records globally, as well as the artist's unreleased material, and U.S. rights to "certain renowned albums" from Prince's most productive period in the 1980s that were released via Warner Bros.

However, sources told Billboard that Prince's estate team appear to have misrepresented the rights to some of the albums currently licensed by Warner Bros., which UMG expected to obtain by 2018, but Warner's rights on the albums expire in 2021.

McMillan denied any misrepresentation at the time, and Koppelman declined to comment to Billboard, the publication said. – Staff Writers

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