MINNEAPOLIS (CelebrityAccess) — Universal Music Group is moving forward with a plan to pull out of a $31 million deal over the recorded music assets of the late rock star Prince.
According to Variety, court papers filed last week showed that Universal Music reiterated their claims that they had been misled by special music advisors in the deal, stating that they paid for rights to music that was actually under contract to Warner Music Group.
The deal, originally announced in February drew scrutiny over the label's claims to have secured rights to Prince's catalog from his Warner days, which included material recorded between 1977 through 1996, including some of the artist's biggest hits such as "Purple Rain" and "1999," Variety said.
The terms of a confidential agreement Prince struck with Warner in 2014, were confidential and unseen by UMG at the time they struck their deal with Prince's estate, but were known to the estate's representatives, Variety said. Earlier this month, Judge Kevin Eide allowed UMG to see the Warner contracts in hope of resolving the contention, but that proved to be unsuccessful.
“Our thorough review has only confirmed that rescission is necessary because of the material misrepresentations and nondisclosures made by the Estate’s prior representatives to induce UMG to enter a deal that was immediately contested by [Warner],” UMG said in their court filing.
A judge will now be tasked with determining if the contract will be rescinded.
Representatives from Prince's estates did not respond to a request for comment, but in May told Variety: This is a contractual interpretation issue and an issue of whether the personal representative desires to defend the assets of the estate — not a fraud issue. I find it inappropriate and absurd for anyone to suggest that [Prince Estate Special Advisor] L. Londell McMillan committed any kind of fraud over a contractual interpretation issue that many lawyers reviewed. I look forward to our legal response and the response from the other parties who helped negotiate these agreements. The struggle continues.” – Staff Writers