EU delays date on music meld

No new decision deadline set

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union clarified Tuesday its decision to delay its investigation into the proposed merger between the music units of Sony and Bertelsmann.

“These are markets where we only have a few so-called majors which are active,” said Tilman Lueder, a spokesman for the EU’s antitrust office. “If two of them merge, of course that requires careful assessment.”

The EU announced Friday it was suspending its review of the deal, announced in November, while it awaits answers to requests for more information sent last week to the two companies.

The EU was set to decide June 22. No new deadline for a decision was set.

Lueder said the requests concerned both music recording and publishing, “but of course the core of it is the music recording market.”

If approved, the 50-50 joint venture combining Bertelsmann’s BMG with Sony Music would reduce the number of major global music companies to four.

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