Sources tell Billboard.biz that the final three bidders on Anshutz Entertainment Group are a group made up of Ron Burkle with Patrick Soon-Shiong and Goldman Sachs; Guggenheim Partners; and Colony Capital and Qatar Sovereign Fund. A deal could be done as soon as the end of March.
Here's a sneak preview of this year's music-related Super Bowl ads, featuring Usher, Fleetwood Mac, the Flaming Lips and more. Also: details on Pepsi's big plans for Beyonce.
The House of Representatives has banned the use of on-demand subscription service Spotify due to its IT policy that "generally prohibits" the use of peer-to-peer technologies on its secure network, Politico reported. RIAA chairman/CEO Cary Sherman responded by sending a letter to chief administrative officer of the U.S. House of Representatives Daniel J. Strodel to assure him that Spotify is "a licensed, secure online music streaming service."
Universal Music announced today that its East Coast Label Group and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas have partnered for Chop Shop Records. Chop Shop was formerly teamed with Atlantic.
190 staff redundancies have been made across HMV's head office and distribution network, administrators have announced.
SXSW FILMS ANNOUNCED: GREEN DAY, CHICAGO BLUES, 'SOUND CITY,' WAY MORE
SXSW will screen the world premieres of two films about Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day as well as films about the racial mix in the 1960s Chicago blues world, Burning Man and the travels of Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz -- and that's just the tip of confab's music-related film programming....
Drake season has begun. Universal Music confirms with Billboard that Drake will release his first single off his forthcoming third album on the night of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10.
BERTELSMANN SEEKS BUYER FOR €2BN RTL STAKE
Bertelsmann, the German media group, cemented its return to dealmaking by announcing its intention to sell a stake in broadcasting subsidiary RTL to raise up to €2bn ($2.7 billion) to fund expansion in sectors such as education and music. In recent months, BMG has been linked to possible bids for Universal Music’s divested EMI assets as well as a potential buyout of partner KKR in BMG Rights Management.
AFTER ADDING ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTIONS, F.T.C. CHIEF RESIGNS
Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, said on Thursday that he would resign effective mid-February. His departure will end a four-year tenure in which he pushed for online privacy protections and sought to restrain unfair competition, but stumbled in an attempt to rein in the Internet search practices of Google.
New York Times
BEST BUY CLOSING 15 CANADIAN BIG BOX STORES, TO BE REPLACED BY MICRO STORES
Best Buy Canada announced today that it will be closing 15 locations across the country, including seven Best Buy-branded locations, and eight stores bearing the Future Shop moniker (a Canadian electronics reseller Best Buy acquired in 2001). The store closures will result in 900 layoffs, but those employees will have first dibs on jobs at smaller outlets focused on mobile device sales the retailer plans to open in place of the closing stores.
BOYZ II MEN SIGN PUBLISHING AND MASTERS DEAL WITH BMG
Grammy-winning group Boyz II Men have signed an exclusive worldwide publishing and masters agreement with BMG Chrysalis US. Boyz II Men, according to their press release, has sold over 60 million albums and generated three of the longest-running number one pop singles in history during their 20 year career.
DONALD TRUMP THREATENS TO SUE MAC MILLER OVER "DONALD TRUMP" SONG
Donald Trump has threatened legal action against Mac Miller over his gold-certified song "Donald Trump." The business tycoon, who seems to keep himself in the news at all times, took to Twitter earlier today to blast the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania rapper, defying earlier statements that he was "proud of him" and that he is the "new Eminem."
IMPRISONED PUSSY RIOT MEMBER HOSPITALIZED
Jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been hospitalized for a full medical check-up after complaining of headaches and suffering from overwork at a Russian prison colony known for its tough conditions, her lawyer and a fellow band member said Friday. Her condition has reportedly worsened since October when she began her two-year sentence for the band's irreverent protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral.
JAPAN’S AKB48 SINGER SHAVES HEAD IN PENANCE FOR DATING
Minami Mingeshi, a 20-year-old band member of Japan’s hugely successful pop group AKB48, has shaved her head and making a tearful public apology on YouTube after being photographed leaving the apartment of a 19-year-old boyband member. Members of AKB48, which has 88 members between 14-20 and are one Japan’s most successful acts, must adhere to a strict code of conduct and are not allowed to have boyfriends. The AKB48 official blog stated that Mingeshi would be demoted within the band's hierarchical structure as of February 1.
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