Feeds

EC likely to probe Universal-EMI mega-merger

Digital worries

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.