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Sony completes $2 billion purchase of CBS Records

NEW YORK -- Sony Corp. Tuesday said it completed its previously announced acquisition of the CBS Records Group from CBS Inc. for $2 billion.

On Nov. 19, following more than two months of talks, the companies announced the CBS unit, the world's largest records maker, would be sold to the Japanese electronics giant.

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CBS's stable of recording artists includes Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand, Julio Iglesias and Billy Joel, along with such classical performers as Placido Domingo and Issac Stern.

The sale represents the final portion of a major CBS restructuring, which has also included the company's sale of textbook, magazine and music publishing divisions.

Sony and the CBS Records Group have had business dealings since 1968, when they established CBS-Sony Group Inc., a joint venture in Japan. The Japanese company, with $600 million in annual sales, is now the largest records producer in Japan.

Despite their long-standing ties, some record company observers in the United States have expressed concern about the ability of a Japanese company to manage a business that handles mainly U.S. recording artists.

Sony executives have said the records group will operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary and retain most of its present management and the CBS Records name.

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