Feeds

EU lets Universal gobble up EMI, but it must spit out certain chunks

Also must hurl forth Cliff Richard, Coldplay and Kylie

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

The European Commission has finally allowed Universal's acquisition of EMI Music to proceed. Universal Music, the world's largest record company, must shed some acquisitions as part of the deal.

And so, Universal has agreed to jettison Parlophone, which is home to a list of stars including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, David Guetta, Lily Allen, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue and, this won't be easy, Cliff Richard. The Mute label will also be divested. More importantly for the digital music sector, Universal has agreed not to insert a "most favoured nation" clause in any new or renegotiated contract with a digital music service for ten years.

Universal, owned by Paris-based media goliath Vivendi, must also get shot of EMI's classical labels, its French labels, and EMI's 50 per cent stake in Now! That's What I Call Music.

European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the new Universal would have a 37 per cent market share in Europe.

Indie trade group Impala welcomed what it called "truly swingeing commitments" by Universal, but said it "reinforced a powerful duopoly".

Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills added: "Even with these divestments their ability to dominate and control the market has reached even more unacceptable levels. Anyone trying to start a new digital service will be realising that very soon, and we will continue to look to the regulators to monitor ongoing behaviour.

"We will consider our options with our lawyers as soon as the full decision is published. In the meantime, it is vital that the divestments process balances the market and maximises competitive forces to the duopoly."

So it might not be over until it's over. In 2006, Impala successfully challenged a decision by the commish to approve the Sony-BMG merger in the European Court of First Instance - and overturned the decision. This time the commissioner took rather more time examining competition issues than former competition head Mario Monti. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

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
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
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.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.