Sony Music Entertainment

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The company’s origins go back to the formation of the Columbia Phonograph Company in the United States in 1888 which was ultimately acquired by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (which had been founded by the record company, but then sold) in 1938. CBS only had the rights to the Columbia name in the United States and Canada. The Columbia Phonograph Company had international subsidiaires and affiliates such as the Columbia Graphophone Company in the United Kingdom, but they were sold off prior to CBS acquiring American Columbia. So when it founded its international arm in 1961, it was as “CBS Records.” In March, 1968, CBS/Sony Records was formed in Japan as a joint venture between CBS and Sony.[1] On November 17, 1987, the Sony Corporation of America acquired CBS Records for US$2 billion. CBS Inc., now CBS Corporation, retained the rights to the CBS name, and Sony renamed the label Sony Music Entertainment in 1991. CBS founded a new CBS Records in 2006.

Sony re-introduced the Columbia label after it bought the international rights to the name from EMI. Epic Records is the other major branch of Sony Music. The only country where Sony does not have rights to the Columbia name is Japan, where the name is controlled by Columbia Music Entertainment. Columbia label recordings from outside Japan are issued in Japan on the Sony Records label, sharing the same Walking Eye logo as Columbia outside Japan.

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