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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.