John Burke Quoted on Proposal to Split Off Sony Media Businesses

Akin Gump entertainment and media practice head John Burke was quoted by Bloomberg for the article “Loeb’s Plan Spotlights Sony Missing Media Renaissance” on the topic of investor Daniel Loeb’s proposal to separate Sony Corp.’s movie, music and television businesses and sell up to 20 percent of the entertainment unit in an IPO.

Burke noted that, after its Betamax video player lost the format war against VHS, Sony benefited from its purchase of Columbia Pictures because the success of the Blu-ray DVD format that Sony had supported helped the company sell its players and also earned Blu-ray licensing fees.  He says that losing Betamax “was a huge deal and they decided they needed a toehold in the software business to drive decisions. I would be very surprised if they were willing to sell Sony Pictures.”