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EMI (Electric & Music Industries) is a British diversified company, known primarily for its media group (EMI Group), was one of the largest record companies in the world (it was part of the "Big Four"). It is headquartered in London.
In addition to sound recording, since 1937 the company has been a major (almost monopoly) contractor of the military-industrial complex of Great Britain in terms of the development and production of fuses and detonation chains for all categories of ammunition (shells, mines, aerial bombs, etc.), safety and executive mechanisms of missile weapons and other electrical and electromechanical military products, as well as radar equipment.
EMI was founded in March 1931 as a result of the merger of two British record labels, the Columbia Graphophone Company and the Gramophone Company. In 1957, EMI acquired the American label Capitol Records, thus obtaining licensing to release American music (long-standing contracts with RCA Victor and Columbia Records were terminated). EMI also owned many labels in the British Commonwealth, as well as India, Australia and New Zealand. In the 1990s, EMI acquired Virgin Records. EMI itself also owns its own label, EMI Records, which includes many small labels (Parlophone, Real World, specialized labels such as EMI Classics).
More than half of British pop music artists have been released on EMI. Until 2012, the third largest record company in the world after Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment; EMIs sell their products in 50 countries. The company owns the rights to more than 1 million songs.