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Sony Agrees to $10 Million "Payola" Settlement

By Associated Press

New York City, NY – The state's investigation into alleged payola-type arrangements between some record companies and radio stations has resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement with SONY BMG Music Entertainment.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is announcing in New York City Monday that the company has agreed to stop paying radio station employees to feature their artists.

In announcing the $10 million settlement, Spitzer says the agreement will serve as a model for what he called the "pervasive influence of bribes in the industry."

Among other allegations, Spitzer says Sony BMG paid "outright bribes" to radio programmers including vacation packages and other gifts. He says the company also hired middlemen known as independent promoters to provide illegal payments to radio stations.

Sony has announced it's reforming its practices.