In Wake Of EU Complaint, UMG-EMI Deal Heads Back To Washington
June 20, 2012 at 3:51 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 6/19), EUROPEAN UNION regulators sent UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP an antitrust complaint, citing concerns over its bid for EMI GROUP’s recorded-music business. UMG spokesman ADAM WHITE acknowledged that the EUROPEAN COMMISSION "provided us today with a statement of objections," adding that "We will continue to work closely with the commission and look forward to securing regulatory clearance."
TOMORROW, the drama moves back to the U.S., as UMG Chairman/CEO LUCIAN GRAINGE will testify about the merger before the Senate's subcommittee on antitrust and consumer rights. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports, "His argument boils down to this: Piracy and digital giants such as APPLE INC. and GOOGLE INC. are such threats to traditional record companies that UNIVERSAL needs to swallow its smaller rival to survive."
The FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION will have the responsibility to approve or deny the deal, in whole or in part.
THE JOURNAL notes, "In CALIFORNIA, the state's attorney general is investigating whether the deal could harm consumers, according to people familiar with the situation." "We are aware of the matter and are looking into it," says a spokesman for the CALIFORNIA Department of Justice.