Inside Move: Music merger not definite

Talks plauged by fears of EC scuttling deal

A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday.

The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market dominance and the reduction in the number of big industry players.

Pact would create a mega-conglom with 26% of the recorded music market (roughly neck-and-neck with the current leader, Universal Music Group) and whittle the competitive field from five major players to four.

Similar regulatory concerns caused EMI to quit its proposed union with Warner Music Group last year, after eight months of negotiations and more than $60 million in costs.

As recently as last week, both EMI and BMG parent Bertelsmann reaffirmed that they were committed to the talks. Bertelsmann topper Thomas Middelhoff has conceded, however, that the EC’s worries are a threat to the deal.

Another reported sticking point is EMI Recorded Music chief Ken Berry’s reluctance to see EMI assets, particularly Virgin Records, sold off to grease the regulatory wheels.

More Music

  • Travis Scott Saint Laurent

    Travis Scott, Saint Laurent Issue Leather Vinyl Album Featuring Kanye West, Frank Ocean, More

    A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday. The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market […]

  • gene simmons

    Gene Simmons Responds to Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit, Denies Accusations

    A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday. The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market […]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marion Curtis/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

    Keely Smith, Jazz and Pop Singer, Dies at 89

    A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday. The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market […]

  • Eminem Revival Album Review

    Album Review: Eminem's 'Revival'

    A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday. The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market […]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Hit With Big Rate Hike by Copyright Royalty Board

    A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday. The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market […]

  • Nelly

    Prosecutors Drop Rape Case Against Nelly

    A major announcement about the on-again, off-again merger between major labels BMG and EMI is coming early this week, and the word isn’t expected to be good, insiders said Friday. The discussions, announced officially last November, have been plagued with fears that the European Commission’s competition authority would scuttle the deal over worries of market […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content