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Minnesota judge cancels Universal deal with Prince estate

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/13/2017
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 1985 file photo, Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. A Minnesota judge has ruled Thursday, July 13, 2017, that Universal Music Group should be released from a music rights deal with Prince's estate. Universal struck a deal with the estate in January, but the estate later sought to cancel the deal after Warner Bros. Records claimed it conflicted with a contract it signed with Prince in 2014. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 18, 1985 file photo, Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. A Minnesota judge has ruled Thursday, July 13, 2017, that Universal Music Group should be released from a music rights deal with Prince's estate. Universal struck a deal with the estate in January, but the estate later sought to cancel the deal after Warner Bros. Records claimed it conflicted with a contract it signed with Prince in 2014. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has ruled that Universal Music Group should be released from a music rights deal with Prince's estate.

Universal struck a deal with the estate in January, but the estate later sought to cancel the deal after Warner Bros. Records claimed it conflicted with a contract it signed with Prince in 2014.

Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide granted the estate's request in a ruling late Thursday. The judge wrote that interpreting the contracts is difficult, and it's in the best interest of the estate to avoid long and costly litigation that could result if the deal isn't canceled.

Prince died of an accidental opioid overdose last year.

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