SM Entertainment resolves contract dispute with three EXO members (report)

Photo credit: yllyso/Shutterstock

SM Entertainment has settled its contract dispute with three members of K-Pop boy group EXO after they filed an antitrust complaint against the South Korean entertainment company, their longtime label and agency.

Baekhyun, Xiumin, and Chen (whose full names are Byun Baekhyun, Kim Minseok and Kim Jongdae, respectively) had recently expressed concerns about their exclusive contracts with SM Entertainment, citing excessively long contract terms and a lack of transparency in financial settlements. 

In response, SM agreed to provide their payment records after the trio filed an antitrust complaint. The agency had refuted the claim, asserting that there was nothing wrong with the contracts.

However, after engaging in discussions, both parties have reached a resolution, Yonhao News Agency reported Monday.

“This company and the three artists resolved their differences caused by misunderstandings and reached a mutual agreement based on smooth communication,” the trio and the K-pop company said in a joint statement cited by Yonhap.

They added: “Both parties have decided to continue pursuing EXO’s activities more actively and consistently while acknowledging and maintaining the contracts,” adding that parts of the contracts were modified to align with each other’s position.

No specific details regarding the modifications or the resolution were provided in the statement. However, it is clear that the discussions led to a mutual understanding and agreement between the members and the agency. 

Furthermore, SM Entertainment reportedly admitted that their previous claim about the existence of double contracts was based on incorrect information and issued an apology to those involved.

The resolution of the dispute is expected to have a positive impact on EXO’s future projects and activities. Previously, concerns arose when the three members took the matter to the Fair Trade Commission, potentially leading to a legal battle that could disrupt the group’s ongoing projects. 

EXO is set to release their seventh full-length album, Exist, next month.

The resolution of the contract dispute between SM Entertainment and the three EXO members marks a positive outcome for SM Entertainment, which faced corporate drama earlier this year in a battle between Kakao and HYBE, a rival K-pop agency. Kakao emerged victorious, securing a substantial stake in SM Entertainment. 

However, the South Korean financial regulator launched an investigation into Kakao, including a raid on SM Entertainment’s offices, to probe potential manipulation of the company’s stock price during the takeover saga.

Music Business Worldwide