Feeds

EC likely to probe Universal-EMI mega-merger

Digital worries

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The European Commission is "all but certain" to investigate the mega-merger of Universal Music and EMI, according to sources cited (paywall) in the Financial Times.

The merger reduces the four major record labels to three: UMG, Sony and Warner, with the newly enlarged Universal taking 40 per cent of the market. The Commission is said to be concerned about the digital market, which looks even sicklier after the merger.

In the disk-shifting world, record companies are wholesalers. But in the digital world, the majors have large equity stakes in the startup services such as Spotify, controlling the terms of distribution.

The EC is said to be particularly exercised by one of the olive branches offered by Universal at the time of the merger announcement. Universal is acquiring the record label from EMI while Sony will acquire EMI's profitable publishing division. (Publishing has fared relatively better in the last decade than recordings).

It's this part that prompted Impala, the independent music association, to notify the regulators last month that the deal should be blocked. "The deal would reinforce the duopoly effect with Universal," said Impala, saying a fatter Sony would have too much clout with performance rights societies.

The EC will announce its intentions next week. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.