Gleiss Lutz advises GEMA on its majority interest in ZEBRALUTION
Gleiss Lutz advised the German Society for Musical Performing Rights and Mechanical Reproduction Rights (GEMA) on its acquisition of a majority interest in ZEBRALUTION GmbH.
ZEBRALUTION is an international digital distributor of the digital content of independent labels and audiobook publishers as well as of podcasts via zebra-audio.net, a subsidiary specifically set up for this purpose. The company acts as an interface between labels, audiobook publishers and the suppliers of digital music such as Spotify, Deezer and iTunes. ZEBRALUTION distributes and markets the content of more than 1,000 labels and audiobook publishers from its seven sites located in six countries.
GEMA represents the copyrights of around 74,000 members in Germany (composers, lyricists and music publishers) as well as more than two million rights holders worldwide. It is one of the largest societies of authors for musical works in the world.
GEMA and the sellers – which will continue to have a minority stake in ZEBRALUTION GmbH – will in future work on a joint strategy to expand the service portfolio of ZEBRALUTION GmbH, in particular in favour of music rights holders.
Gleiss Lutz regularly advises GEMA. For example, in 2016 the firm represented GEMA before the European Court of Justice and successfully obtained a landmark decision on European copyright and in 2015 secured clearance in EU merger control proceedings for a joint venture for the awarding and management of online music rights with other European collecting societies. Gleiss Lutz also assisted GEMA with various joint ventures with European collecting societies.
The following Gleiss Lutz team advised GEMA on the acquisition of ZEBRALUTION: Dr. Jan Balssen (lead, partner), Peter Steffen Carl (partner), Sina Schwirz (all corporate/M&A, Munich), Dr. Doris-Maria Schuster (partner), Dr. Sebastian Schulte (both employment, Frankfurt), Dr. Alexander Molle (partner), Dr. Matthias Schilde (both IP/IT, Berlin), Dr. Stefan Mayer (partner), Dr. Ocka Stumm, Dr. Dominik Monz (all tax, Frankfurt), Dr. Christian von Köckritz (partner, competition/antitrust, Brussels), Dr. Philipp Naab (counsel), Oksana Weber-Kim (both real estate, Frankfurt) and Dr. Timo Bühler (finance, Frankfurt).