Queen are set to quit EMI after 40 years with the label.
A source told The Times newspaper: "EMI just decided they couldn't compete. It was too much to pay and they want to spend that money on developing new talent."
Queen's back catalogue is one of the most profitable in the music industry, and will be a valuable asset to Universal. The band's 'Greatest Hits' album is the best-selling LP of all-time in the UK and they have shifted over 300 million albums while signed to EMI.
The band are now expected to see out the remainder of their EMI contract, which expires at the end of the year.