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Don't Stop the Muzak: Elevator Music Company Files For Bankruptcy

February 11, 2009 4:24 PM ET

Muzak may have haunted the aisles of its last supermarket: the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Somehow, Muzak has accumulated between $100 and $500 million worth of debt, yet has assets that are only worth $50,000, according to Billboard.biz. Which means if enough Rock Daily commenters banded together, they could feasibly buy Muzak. That is, if that $500 million in debt thing doesn't scare you off.

Although it's more well known for torturing your ears with watered-down, vocal-free versions of Top 40 songs, Muzak also create playlists and installs sound systems for retail stores. Aside from owing $371 million to U.S. Bank and failing to make good on a $105 million loan extension, Muzak also owe a bunch of record companies some license fees for being allowed to turn their hits into elevator music. Universal Music is due around $350,000, EMI Capital has a $320,000 tab, there's a $213,000 IOU for ASCAP, etc. And when your company has assets totally $50,000, we imagine it's hard to pay those companies back.

Interestingly enough, one of Muzak's biggest providers, satellite TV company EchoStar, is also rumored to be attempting to take over Sirius XM, another company in serious danger of filing for bankruptcy.

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