LONDON — The merger between Sony Music and BMG has got caught in the middle of a game of legal volleyball between rival authorities in the European legislative hierarchy.
The European Union’s highest court dismissed Thursday a lower court ruling that annulled the European Commission’s approval for the union.
The European Court of Justice ordered that the Court of First Instance should review its ruling, but also take into consideration all five of independent trade body Impala’s arguments against the merger, rather than just the two it looked at previously.
In a move that seems to pass the buck, the European Court of Justice said: “Since the Court of First Instance examined only two of the five pleas relied on by Impala, the Court of Justice considers that it is not in a position to give a ruling itself on the dispute. It is accordingly referring the case back to the Court of First Instance.”
Michel Lambot, co-president of Impala said: “When the Court of First instance overturned the first approval, it was with good reason. This final judgment confuses the issue. Music is different to widgets.”