Several Swedish and Norwegian companies have received letters from the parent company of the streaming service Tidal warning that the US rapper will go to court to get compensated for having paid too much money when he bought Wimp in March 2015 for approximately 466 million Swedish kronor ($54 million).
The hip-hop mogul's claim could run up into the “hundreds of millions” of kronor, Norwegian business outlet Dagens Næringsliv reported.
The primary claims in the letter sent to Wimp's previous owners, including its primary shareholder, the Oslo-based media group Schibsted – which also owns Sweden's biggest newspaper Aftonbladet – are that Wimp had far fewer subscribers than what was declared prior to the sale and that the company was in a significantly worse economic situation than Jay-Z was led to believe.
Wimp reported that it had 512,000 paying users in Scandinavia, Germany and Poland as of the third quarter of 2014.
Schibsted's communications director Anders Rikter said the compnay was caught off guard by the potential lawsuit.
“We find ourselves very puzzled by the letter and its claims,” he told Dagens Næringsliv.
Rikter said that the deal was carried out with full transparency in compliance with the rules for publicly-listed companies.
After its purchase, Wimp was re-branded Tidal and was marketed by Jay-Z and other big-name music stars as a lossless, high-quality audio alternative to other popular streaming services.
Earlier this week, Tidal announced that it had three million paying customers, a far cry from the 30 million who subscribe to Sweden’s Spotify or the 11 million who use Apple Music.
In addition to Jay-Z, artists including his wife Beyonce, Madonna, Jack White are Kanye West are heavily involved in Tidal as “artist-owners”, with the latter releasing his latest album ‘The Life of Pablo’ exclusively on the service.