Warner settles on radio payments

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Warner Music on Tuesday agreed to pay $5m to settle a New York state investigation into improper payments made by the music industry to get songs played on the radio.

In a settlement similar to one made by Sony BMG in July, Warner Music agreed to stop making pay-offs in return for airplay, a practice called “payola”, and said it would disclose all “items of value” provided to radio stations.

Sony BMG paid $10m to settle its case with Eliot Spitzer, the New York state attorney-general. The different amounts reflect the relative market share of the two companies in the US. Universal and EMI, two other big music companies, are also being investigated by Mr Spitzer.

Warner Music said reforms agreed with Mr Spitzer were consistent with the internal reforms implemented by its new management team this year.

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