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Sony Corp. triggered a contract clause that would allow the Japanese electronics maker to to sell its half of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing venture it co-owns with Michael Jackson’s estate, according to people familiar with the situation.

The move means Sony can either sell its half of the music-publishing business or buy the other half, said the people, who asked not to be named because the agreement is private. Documents leaked by hackers who broke into Sony Entertainment’s computers last year revealed that executives at the company had discussed such a sale.

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