You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

European Commission examines UMG-EMI merger

Regulatory body raises anti-competitive concerns

The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns.

The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline to make a final decision.

Though the EC did not reject the combination of the two major music firms outright, a strongly worded statement issue Friday indicated that high hurdles would have to be cleared before approval.

Most observers have opined that UMG, presently the largest among the remaining major label firms, would have to make significant divestitures to ensure approval of the splicing by overseas regulators.

Commission vp in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia said, “The proposed acquisition could reduce competition in the recorded music market to the detriment of European consumers. The Commission needs to make sure that consumers continue to have access to a wide variety of music in different physical and digital formats at competitive conditions.”

The commission added that the UMG-EMI entity “would be almost twice the size of the next largest player in the (European Economic Area and) would not appear to be sufficiently constrained by the remaining competitors on the market, by its customers buyer power, and/or by the threat of illegal music consumption (so-called “piracy”).”

The Federal Trade Commission is currently weighing the deal in the U.S.

UMG said in a statement, “Phase II was always expected; we recognize that the Commission needs time to fully review this transaction. We will continue to co-operate fully with them and look forward to a successful resolution of the process.”

More Music

  • Fergie

    Fergie Sexes Up National Anthem at NBA All-Star Game and America Isn't Having It

    The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns. The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline […]

  • Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to

    Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to Be Nearing Bankruptcy

    The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns. The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline […]

  • Buffalo Springfield L.A. Tribute Headlined by

    Buffalo Springfield Fans Get Next Best Thing to a Reunion: A Richie Furay-Led L.A. Tribute

    The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns. The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline […]

  • Kendrick Lamar's Label Hosts Free 'Black

    Kendrick Lamar's Label Hosts Free 'Black Panther' Screenings for Kids in Watts

    The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns. The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline […]

  • Harry Connick Jr

    Harry Connick Jr. Talk Show to End After 2 Seasons (EXCLUSIVE)

    The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns. The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline […]

  • brandi carlile Album

    Album Review: Brandi Carlile's 'By the Way, I Forgive You'

    The European Commission’s investigation of the proposed merger of Universal Music Group and EMI Music’s label interests has moved into its second stage, with regulators acknowledging anti-competitive concerns. The European regulatory body, which has been exploring the transaction since February, has 90 working days to sift the deal, and set Aug. 8 as the deadline […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content