Pressplay Parent Under Criminal Investigation
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net [11-13-2002]
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: p2pnet.net/MusicDish - November 4, 2002
pressplay is a U.S.-only, RIAA-approved p2p 'alternative', with ownership split between Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment.
On its web page, pressplay brags it's "offered through affiliates that currently include MSN Music, Yahoo!, MP3.com, Roxio, and Sony's Musiclub. pressplay is also offered through the Windows Media Player 9 Series."
Now, in a terse statement issued on November 5, Vivendi Universal, UMG's owner, admits it's under criminal investigation in the U.S.
The announcement came only days after French prosecutors said they're examining whether or not the company deliberately misled investors while it was being run by former Chairman Jean-Marie Messier, who himself faces possible class-actions in the US.
"As in France with the C.O.B [Commission des Operations de la Bourse, the French Securities and Exchange Commission] and the Justice, Vivendi Universal intends to cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York that has opened a preliminary criminal investigation involving Vivendi Universal," said the company.
"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Miami, Florida office, which has been conducting an informal inquiry, will be coordinating its activities with the U.S. Attorney's investigation. Vivendi Universal intends to cooperate fully with those preliminary investigations."
Starting out as 'Compagnie Generale des Eaux', Vivendi has grown to become the world's second largest media group. On its UMG web page, it says: ."..global operations encompass the development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of recorded music through a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees in 63 countries around the world, representing 98% of the global music market."
Its UMG ownerships and alliances include: Decca; Deutsche Grammophon; Interscope Geffen A&M; Island Def Jam Music Group; MCA Records; MCA Nashville; Mercury Nashville; Motown Record Company; Polydor; Universal Records; Universal Classics Group; Verve Music Group; Universal Music Publishing Group; and Universal eLabs.
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