New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer plans to announce on Monday a settlement in his probe of the way music companies influence which songs get played on the radio, a spokesman for the attorney general said.
Spitzer served the four top record companies — Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI Group Plc and Warner Music Group Corp. with subpoenas demanding information on so-called payola, sources familiar with the matter have said.
Spitzer’s office has scheduled a press conference for 11:15 Monday.
Over the weekend, several newspapers reported that Sony BMG would pay at least $10 million to settle the issue.
The investigation centers on a long-standing practice of paying independent promoters to help secure valuable airtime for songs.
Spitzer also issued subpoenas to radio companies, such as Clear Channel Communications Inc., Viacom Inc.’s Infinity and Cox Radio Inc.
Asked for comment, an EMI spokeswoman referred to its statement in its annual report, which confirmed Spitzer’s investigation into the promotion of records on New York stations and said it was cooperating with the inquiry.
“EMI has a long-standing, strict written policy prohibiting unlawful radio promotion practices,” the company said. “EMI is not currently aware of any reason for believing that there will be a material financial impact on the Group.”
None of the other labels, nor Clear Channel, Infinity or Cox Radio were immediately available to comment.
> For full coverage on the Sony BMG / Spitzer settlement visit Billboard.Biz/spitzer.