I see people complaining why Harry never said anything about a solo deal etc. but him being able to make a first move on March 25 of all days and Columbia only adding him to their side today is not a coincidence. What kept Columbia from announcing it when they supposedly made the deal. Or why wasn't he in their documents? I think there was more stuff going on and it's too easy to say Harry could but didn't want to. (Niam's announcements were so different compared to this, including tweets etc.)
@lawyerlarrie and I talked about this offline last week and theorized that it might have something to do with a “non-solicit” agreement, which basically prevents related companies from poaching from each other.
All Sony companies/labels probably have a non-solicit agreement between them, so like, Epic can’t offer Adele, a Columbia artist, a better deal to move to their label since they both are under Sony.
With Syco, they are a partner company with Sony and Columbia already had 1D on their label, so it got a little fuzzy, but we were thinking maybe Columbia couldn’t officially and formally announce the Harry signing because of that, but it wouldn’t affect Niall and Liam since they didn’t stay with a Sony label.
The theory doesn’t entirely work because the deal was obviously made last summer, even if it was only verbal, which would still be in violation of the spirit of the restriction, if not the letter of it. But at the same time, Rob Stringer - President of Columbia Records - was already tapped to lead Sony Music, so he had a lot of power over the situation and and the company.
So that’s my theory at the moment and now that it’s all “officially official” with Harry I’m hoping some other restrictions might be ending too.