Feeds

EC to re-examine Sony-BMG merger

Launches in-depth investigation

High performance access to file storage

The European Commission (EC) has launched an in-depth investigation into the merger of Sony and Bertelsman AG, despite having given the deal its blessing back in July of 2004.

The deal was given the go-ahead largely because, even post-merger, Sony-BMG did not knock Universal off the market number one spot. However, the EC was concerned that the merger could create a collective dominance for the four main players, (Sony-BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner) paving the way for collusion in the market. The commission concluded that there was not enough evidence to oppose the deal.

But in July 2006, the the European Court of First Instance annulled that judgement. It ruled that the commission had failed to demonstrate "either the non-existence of a collective dominant position before the concentration or the absence of a risk that such a position would be created as a result of the concentration".

Now the commission has opened the books again, and says it will re-examine the evidence, including new developments since 2004, such as the growth of online music sales.

It has until 2 July to reach its conclusion.

If the commission finds the merger to have been illegal, it can veto it. As to how it could unpick the two companies that have been merged for almost three years, the commission is reluctant to elaborate.

"I'd rather not get into hypothetical situations," a spokeswoman said. "Every situation is different and each case must be judged on its merits."

She declined to elaborate on the extent of the commission's powers in such a situation, so it seems to be a case of "watch this space".

Sony-BMG could not be reached for comment. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.