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Sony Music Entertainment

Sony renamed the record company Sony Music Entertainment (SME) on January 1, 1991, fulfilling the terms set under the 1988 buyout, which granted only a transitional license to the CBS trademark. The CBS Associated label was renamed Epic Associated. [ howthread.php?t=148350] Also on January 1, 1991, to replace the CBS label, Sony reintroduced the [Columbia] label worldwide, which it previously held in the United States and Canada only, after it acquired the international rights to the trademark from [EMI] in 1990. Japan is the only country where Sony does not have rights to the Columbia name as it is controlled by [Columbia Music Entertainment] , an unrelated company. Thus, until this day, [Sony Music Japan] does not use the Columbia trademark for Columbia label recordings from outside Japan which are issued in Japan. The Columbia Records trademark was also controlled in [Spain] by another company, [Bertelsmann Music Group] (BMG), which Sony Music subsequently obtained through the 2004 merger, and later through the 2008 buyout, of BMG.

Sony BMG: Joint venture with Bertelsmann
In August 2004, Sony entered into a 50-50 joint venture with [Bertelsmann] by merging Sony Music and [Bertelsmann Music Group] (BMG) to form [Sony BMG Music Entertainment] . BMG can trace its ancestry to [Berliner Gramophone] . However Sony continued to operate [its Japanese music business] independently from Sony BMG (while BMG Japan was made part of the merger).

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