Country's Competition Bureau approves acquisition

Canadian regulators have approved Universal Music Group’s $1.9 billion purchase of EMI Music’s label holdings.

UMG was advised of the approval by Canada’s Competition Bureau via a letter on Friday.

In a statement acknowledging the move, UMG said, “We are pleased that the Canadian Competition Bureau has cleared Universal Music’s proposed acquisition of EMI with no objections. This follows similar clearances in Japan and New Zealand. Our investment in EMI will create more opportunities for new and established artists, expand music output and consumer choice, and support new digital services. We welcome the Bureau’s decision and will continue to work closely with regulators in other jurisdictions to obtain further clearances.”

The deal remains pending in major territories. The European Commission — which received a divestment package from the merging companies in July (Daily Variety, July 30) — is expected to rule on the sale within two-three weeks, according to a source.

In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission is weighing the acquisition stateside, and is likewise expected to rule on the deal by the end of the first week in September. Early this month, the FTC received a letter from solons on the Senate antitrust subcommittee raising “significant competition issues” tied to the deal (Daily Variety, Aug. 6).

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