In 1988, the Sony Corporation of America acquired CBS Records for US$2 billion. CBS Inc., now CBS Corporation, retained the rights to the CBS name, and Sony renamed the label Sony Music Entertainment in 1991.
Sony re-introduced the Columbia label after it bought the international rights of the label from EMI. Epic Records is the other major branch of Sony Music. The only country where Sony does not have rights to the Columbia name is Japan, where the name is controlled by Columbia Music Entertainment. Columbia label recordings from outside Japan are issued in Japan on the Sony Records label, sharing the same Walking Eye logo as Columbia outside Japan.
In November 2005, Texas Attorney General as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a digital rights group based in California) separately filed civil lawsuits against Sony BMG Music Entertainment for hiding spyware software on its compact discs that left computers that run the Windows operating system vulnerable to hackers.
Sony BMG will become simply Sony Music Entertainment Sony has purchased Bertelsmann's half of the venture. On March 27, 2006, the New York Times reported that Bertelsmann was looking to raise money by leveraging some of its media assets, and that executives from both companies were in talks about possibly altering the current venture. Bertelsmann sold its shares to Sony for a total of $1.5 billion , .
The international media and entertainment companies Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann AG announced on August 5, 2008, that Sony agreed to acquire Bertelsmann's 50% stake in Sony BMG. The company, to be called Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (SME), will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.
According to Variety, on October 2, 2008, Sony had completed the acquisition of Bertelsmann.