Muzak Sold for a Soothing $345 Million

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In an era of sluggish music sales, where two of the major record labels are on the verge of changing hands at discount prices -- Citigroup is looking to deal beleaguered EMI and Warner Music is up for grabs to anyone with a spare billion or two -- it appears the market for terrible music is still in high demand. Muzak, the company that famously turns big hits into instrumental background music for supermarkets and doctors' offices, has been sold to its easy-listening competitor Mood Media for $345 million, giving the Toronto-based Mood Media a monopoly in the elevator music market.

According to ABC News, Muzak was bankrupt last year thanks to a debt of at least $200 million, but even though it owes hundreds of millions of dollars, Mood Media jumped at the chance to buy the company that gave birth to the almost-derogatory term "Muzak," which nowadays is often used to described forgettable, characterless music that essentially serves as white noise with a tune. Together, Muzak and Mood Music will provide everything from call-waiting music to display screen graphics to over 300,000 businesses in the U.S.

"This combination will offer sophisticated new and expanded solutions and opportunities for our customers and employees," Muzak CEO Steve Richards said in a statement. "As part of Mood Media, we will continue delivering unique experiences to millions of people daily." Added Mood Media CEO Lorne Abony, "We're super-jazzed about the opportunity to purchase Muzak. It's a storied brand, a classic brand, with an incredible footprint." As part of the deal, Muzak will update its dated method of transmitting "music" via satellite radio channel to a digital delivery service.

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