×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Indie labels fight Sony BMG merger

Music indies appeal to EU

Europe’s independent record companies are taking the unprecedented step of appealing the European Commission’s approval of the Sony BMG merger.

The two merged companies have already started the restructuring process, and the surprise decision by the board of the independent labels’ trade association, Impala, marks the first time a merger approval in the entertainment sector has been the subject of an appeal. Impala represents more than 2,500 member companies.

Impala received the Commission’s official merger decision approval on 23 September and following consultation with its members, the organization received overwhelming support for the appeal.

Impala president Michel Lambot said in a statement: “Although this is not the first time third parties have appealed a Commission decision approving a merger, it is a historic moment for the music business. It is the first time the industry has ever seen such a stance against concentration in the name of market access, fair play and diversity. What impresses me is the extent of feeling right across the sector that enough is enough.”

The necessary funds for an appeal have already been committed by Impala and UK trade body, the Association of Independent Music (AIM).

The indies claim the four major record companies have a 95% market share when looking at the Top 100 sales in Europe, which, claim the indies, is detrimental to the emergence of new artists and creativity.

Alison Wenham, CEO of AIM and vice president Impala, said: “The threat of a duopoly operating in the business without any real constraints is too great for any serious company or sector to ignore. The independents deserved better from the EU, and it is our intention to ensure that the facts of our case are properly respected.

“No-one should doubt the seriousness of the decision made by Impala. AIM will be leading the UK independent sector in full support of the Impala position and we will fight to ensure that this flawed decision is overturned.

More Music

  • Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali, right)

    Read Variety's 1957 Review of 'Green Book' Pianist Don Shirley

    “Green Book” viewers who are not totally versed in the ways of ’50s and ’60s jazz may come away from the heavily Oscar-nominated movie wondering just how well known and respected the film’s central musical figure, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), really was in his heyday. The answer: revered enough to have picked up [...]

  • R. Kelly's Bond Set at $1

    R. Kelly's Bond Set at $1 Million

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge has set R&B singer R. Kelly’s bond at $1 million, or $250,000 for each of the four cases of criminal sexual abuse leveled against him. The singer, 52, must put forth $100,000 to make bail. The singer appeared at the Leighton Criminal Court Building wearing a black hoodie and jeans, according to [...]

  • Concert Review: James Blake Warms Up

    Concert Review: James Blake, Hip-Hop's Go-To Singer, Warms Up a Chilly Philadelphia Night

    With his quavering vocals and math-wiz electronic melodies, James Blake is a pretty unlikely candidate for a hip-hop go-to singer: His high, icy baritone is about as far from rap as one can get. But there he is, collaborating as a singer and co-composer on Jay-Z’s “4:44,” Jay Rock’s “Redemption,” Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    It'll Take a 'Village' to Salute the Kinks at Tribute Show Saturday

    The Kinks’ classic 1968 album “The Village Green Preservation Society” has always needed some fervent champions to keep its reputation alive, or even to keep it in print, in the 50 years since it first came out and proved to be a massive flop. You could give a name to the fervent cult that’s made [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Turns Himself in to Chicago Police

    R. Kelly, who was indicted Friday afternoon on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, turned himself in to a Chicago police station on Friday night. He is set to appear for a bond hearing on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/7k9VvbTPjg — Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) February 23, 2019 The incidents — in which three of [...]

  • Gary Clark Jr This Land

    Album Review: Gary Clark Jr.'s 'This Land'

    Not that many years ago, people were talking about Gary Clark Jr. in terms of his ability to revive a fairly commercially moribund genre: the blues. But his third full-length studio album, “This Land,” makes good on his potential to make a record that fits quite nicely within the larger realm of mainstream rock ‘n’ [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Is ‘Going Down Hard,’ Criminal-Defense Attorney Predicts

    When R. Kelly was arrested on child-pornography charges in 2002, after a videotape emerged that purported to show him having sex with an underage girl, he managed to have the case dismissed through a combination of skillful lawyering, repeated delays (the verdict did not come down for six years), and the fact that the girl [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content