This Day in Entertainment History featuring The King of Pop Michael Jackson

The date was August 10, 1985 when The King of Pop solidified his place in American Music History by closing the deal to purchase The Beatles Music Publishing.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC is an American music publishing company owned by Sony through Sony Entertainment. The company was founded as a division of Associated Television (ATV) in 1955 by Lew Grade. In 1985, Michael Jackson acquired ATV Music Publishing for $47.5 million. Paul McCartney, who had told Jackson about the importance of owning publishing, admitted he felt somewhat undercut by the purchase, because ATV Music Publishing owned the publishing rights to most of The Beatles’ songs, although he did not enter the bidding when it came up for sale in 1984.

Michael Jackson

In December 1995, Michael Jackson agreed to merge ATV Music Publishing with Sony Music Publishing, a division of Sony Corporation, to form Sony/ATV Music Publishing. In 2012 an investor consortium led by Sony/ATV Music Publishing acquired EMI Music Publishing for approximately $2.2 billion. Sony/ATV Music Publishing and EMI Music Publishing now operate as one company, with the former entity administering the catalogue of the latter under a complex business structure. Following the acquisition, the company became the largest music publisher in the world, with a library of over two million songs under its administration. On March 14, 2016, Sony announced that it had reached a deal to acquire the Jackson estate’s stake in the company. The deal was completed on September 30, 2016.

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