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Warner Closes Parlophone Deal, Bronfman Exits Board

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — European regulators on Wednesday approved Warner Music Group's acquisition of Parlophone, one of the final assets remaining from EMI's sale last year.

Warner agreed to acquire Parlaphone in February for $765 million, in a deal that gave them rights to a roster of major artists that includes Coldplay, Pink Floyd and Radiohead.

“The commission’s investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns,” the regulator said in a statement, “in particular because following the acquisition, W.M.G. will continue to face competition from the two remaining major music companies, namely Universal Music Group and Sony, as well as from independent music labels.”

Universal Music Group acquired the lion's share of EMI in a sale in 2012 worth $1.9 million. However, in order to allay antitrust concerns in the European Union, Universal was forced to divest assets, including Parlophone, Sanctuary and EMI's publishing division, which was acquired by a consortium of investors led by Sony.

With news of the closure of the acquisition deal, Warner also announced that Edgar Bronfman, Jr., a former chairman of the company, has left the board of directors.

"His contributions to this company and the music industry as a whole have been enormous," said Cooper. "Warner Music Group would not be the dynamic, pioneering force we are today without his tireless commitment to the company, its employees and its artists," Warner CEO Stephen Cooper said during an earnings call with investors.

Bronfman stepped down from his leadership role at Warner in 2011 shortly after the company was acquired in a $3.3 billion dollar private equity deal by Access Industries. Bronfman helped to purchase EMI in 2004 and served as Chairman and CEO until 2011. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers