Phonogram Inc. was started in 1962 as a unit of the Grammophon-Philips Group (GPG) A joint Venture of Philips N.V. of the Netherlands and Siemens A.G. of Germany. Phonogram was the name of a parent company that owned and or distributed many different record companies. In 1972, Phonogram was merged with Polydor Records into PolyGram. Following PolyGram's acquisition of Mercury in the U.S., they changed the corporate name of Mercury Record Productions, Inc. to Phonogram, Inc. In the UK, Phonogram Records were originally known as Philips Records which started in 1953 and a second label Fontana was launched in 1958. As well as producing many of their own recordings and UK hits, Philips/Fontana licensed the rights from Columbia (US) to release and distribute their product from 1953 until the end of 1964. After that time, Columbia set up their own marketing and production unit in London and acquired a pressing plant previously known as Oriole Records. Unable to use the label 'Columbia' as it had already been copyrighted by EMI Records, their product was released on the 'CBS' record label. Phonogram was launched as a record company in 1970, but was never a record label. In the US, Phonogram's artists were generally released on Mercury Records, with some releases in parts of Europe issued by Vertigo Records and Philips Records. In 1997, all PolyGram units still using the Phonogram name were renamed Mercury Records. By that time, Mercury had become Phonogram's flagship label. PolyGram continued until 1998, when the company was purchased by Seagram and merged with Universal Music Group, now owned by Vivendi.