AlphaTheta applies for clearance to acquire Serato

AlphaTheta has Overseas Investment Office approval already.

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Serato hardware

Image: Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In the latest AlphaTheta and Serato development, the Commerce Commission, a New Zealand government agency, has received an application for clearance from AlphaTheta to acquire Serato. AlphaTheta has already gained Overseas Investment Office approval for the deal, which is thought to be worth around $70,000,000 (around £57,500,000).

A spokeswoman for the Commission says that they encouraged AlphaTheta and Serato to file for clearance. However, InMusic owner Jack O’Donnell, a longstanding opponent of the deal, said his company was considering seeking a review of the Overseas Investment Office’s decision.

Founded in 1999, Serato – which is based in Auckland – makes DJ and music production software. Meanwhile, AlphaTheta is owned by Noritsu, which is based in Tokyo. AlphaTheta itself owns the Pioneer DJ hardware brand; part of InMusic’s concern is that AlphaTheta will restrict Serato’s software, or make it more difficult for other DJ hardware brands to access it. InMusic owns a range of brands including Akai Pro, Denon DJ, Marantz, Numark, and Rane.

Last month, an InMusic advert in a New Zealand newspaper protested the sale of Serato to AlphaTheta, claiming that the sale would “buy a monopoly and hurt the DJ community.

“The move brings under the same umbrella Serato and Rekordbox DJ, which together account for a massive 90 percent of market share in the DJ software business,”, the advert – which was shared on Reddit – quotes from an article previously published on MusicTech.

“If this deal goes ahead, then we believe that competition in the DJ market would all but die, driving up prices and quashing innovation,” O’Donnell went on to tell the New Zealand Herald last month.

Despite InMusic’s disagreements with the move, however, it looks as if it could well be going ahead. And, many people who discussed its advert on the Reddit thread disagreed with the company, arguing that InMusic had the option to purchase Serato, just like AlphaTheta.


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