Feeds

EC likely to probe Universal-EMI mega-merger

Digital worries

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.