FTC Asked To Scrutinize EMI Sale
March 8, 2012 at 3:50 AM (PT)
The U.S. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION is being asked by a consumer advocacy group to scrutinize whether CITIGROUP's proposed sale of EMI GROUP’s music and publishing assets would hurt competition in the music industry, BLOOMBERG reports. PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE asserted that the sale of publishing assets to SONY and record company assets to UMG "would control the emergence of new distribution options for the entire industry."
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition is reviewing the deal under antitrust laws, as are European authorities.
"This sort of control would put UNIVERSAL in a position to ‘make or break’ any new service all by itself, allowing it to hamper innovation and/or demand exorbitant terms and conditions," PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE wrote in the letter, which was also signed by the MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT.
UMG spokesperson PETER LOFRUMENTO told BLOOMBERG that the company’s “reinvestment in EMI will expand the output of new music and create more opportunities for artists, while supporting digital innovation and consumers’ access to music.”
“We have every business reason to continue licensing our music to as many digital platforms as possible,” he said.
Spokespeople for CITIGROUP and the FTC declined to comment on the letter.