Sony gets busted in payola settlement

Sony BMG faces the music in payola settlement

By Chris Morris and Alexander Woodson

Calling illegal payola to radio stations "pervasive" and "a major problem throughout the music industry," New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Monday announced a settlement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment relating to the music giant's radio promotion practices. Sony BMG -- whose promotion practices are damningly depicted in documents released by Spitzer's office -- agreed to tighten its promotion guidelines and will pay a $10 million fine. The money will be distributed by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to New York nonprofit organizations. The company, home to such acts as Kelly Clarkson, System of a Down and Bruce Springsteen, also agreed to pay $100,000 toward the cost of Spitzer's investigation. In compliance with an "assurance of discontinuance" signed Friday by Sony BMG executive vp/global general counsel Daniel Mandil, the label acknowledged it had engaged in payola activities. Full

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Agenda Setting