Matador was started by Chris Lombardi in 1989 in his New York City apartment. The following year, Lombardi was joined by former Homestead Records manager Gerard Cosloy, and the two of them have run it together since. In 1993, the label began a partnership with Atlantic Records which lasted for a couple of years. Then in 1996, Capitol Records purchased a 49 percent stake in Matador, but Lombardi and Cosloy bought it back in 1999. It has been co-owned by the Beggars Group since 2002 and now operates in both New York and London.
In the early 2000s, Matador has had to sidestep unwanted involvement in the current Recording Industry Association of America dispute over Peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Matador's Patrick Amory contacted the RIAA multiple times in order to ensure that an erroneous listing on the group's website of Matador as an RIAA member was removed. After several attempts, the name of the independent label was removed from the membership list.
Matador acquired True Panther Sounds as an imprint in 2009.[1
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