EMI Agrees $3.75m US Payola Settlement

19 June 2006

New York attorney general Eliot Sptizer's clampdown on music companies paying for radio airplay has claimed another scalp in the form of the giant EMI Group.

The company behind some of the biggest bands in the world, including the Rolling Stones and Coldplay, has agreed to pay $3.75 million (€2.96m; £2.02m) to settle payola charges.

According to a statement from Spitzer's office EMI provided illegal "financial benefits to obtain airplay and boost the chart position of its artists by bribing radio station employees with concert tickets, video games and hotel and airfare expenses."

Sptizer has already forced settlements from EMI's competitors. Universal Music Group agreed to pay $12m, Sony BMG agreed to pay $10m while Warner Music Group settled for $5m.

EMI says it has voluntarily adopted policies to prevent against such practices and has been working with the attorney general to reinforce these policies.

Data sourced from USA Today.com; additional content by WARC staff