Sunday Times Reports Bertelsmann’s Napster Settlement Close To $100 Million
After it was announced that EMI and Bertelsmann reached an undisclosed settlement in litigation involving Bertelsmann’s investment in Napster, a new report suggests that Bertelsmann may have paid up to $100 million to settle the dispute. The UK’s Sunday Times reports that the figure paid out was well above $50 million and approaching $100 million. Bertelsmann disclosed that it had set aside $101 million in its recently published accounts to pay legal costs, and EMI is thought to have received a significant proportion of this amount, says the Times.
EMI was the only remaining major label still suing Bertelsmann, after Vivendiâ€™s Universal agreed to a $61.2 million settlement last year. The liability lawsuits were filed because Bertelsmann decided to invest in Napster in 2000 after the file sharing service was crippled by lawsuits seeking to shut it down for copyright infringement.
The Future: The extra cash is certainly a godsend to EMI, which has taken a fiscal beating this past year. However, we must give BMG the “big fat told you so” when we reported that buying Napster was a huge miscalculation.