Universal’s proposed purchase of EMI was first announced back in November when the company made an offer of £1.2bn ($1.9bn), but has since been subject to a review under the EU’s competition guidelines.
But today (September 21st), the commission has given the go-ahead to the takeover subject to Universal relinquishing some of the most valuable assets of the label, including Parlophone – a branch which is home to the likes of Pink Floyd and Blur.
“The very significant commitments proposed by Universal will ensure that competition in the music industry is preserved and that European consumers continue to enjoy all its benefits,” EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has said in a statement.
“Competition in the music business is crucial to preserve choice, cultural diversity and innovation. In this investigation, we have paid close attention to digital innovation, which is changing the way that people listen to music.”
While several smaller labels have welcomed the decision to force Universal into selling off significant parts of EMI’s subsidiaries, the impact which could be made by the monopolising of the market on Universal’s part is still being highlighted:
“It’s good to see that the Commission has seen this deal as such a threat to the market that it has demanded and received truly swingeing commitments to divestments,” Martin Mills, chairman of Beggars Group, remarks.
“However, that should not conceal that fact that Universal’s arrogance has paid off for them, that they have destroyed a significant competitor, and that even with these divestments their ability to dominate and control the market has reached even more unacceptable levels.”Just Published: