Report: EU Approval For UMG/EMI Deal Could Come As Soon As Sept. 19th
August 31, 2012 at 3:47 AM (PT)
A vote is expected in the EUROPEAN UNION late next week on approving UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP's $1.9 billion bid for EMI MUSIC, reports BUSINESSWEEK.COM, citing three people familiar with the situation. "A positive vote on the deal by the national agencies may allow the European Commission to rule on the purchase as soon as a SEPTEMBER 19th meeting, said two of the people, who couldn't be identified because the process isn’t public."
The approval in the EU may help to move the deal along in the U.S., where a House Of Representatives Subcommittee recently added additional pressure on UNIVERSAL when the top REPUBLICAN and DEMOCRAT on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet sent a letter to executives at UNIVERSAL and two other major labels, asking pointed questions about how the merger would affect competition in the music industry."
BUSINESSWEEK notes, "UNIVERSAL MUSIC has offered to sell global rights to EMI labels it earlier pledged to divest to eliminate regulators' concerns that the deal could make the world's largest record company too powerful in some European markets, one of the people said. UNIVERSAL MUSIC's revised package of asset sales adds to an earlier proposal to sell 60% of EMI's European assets, two people said earlier this month. Extra concessions may make the iconic LONDON-based label less attractive for PARIS-based VIVENDI, saddled with debt and under investor pressure to improve earnings, as it faces a deadline next month to pay for EMI."
Representatives of national competition agencies from the 27 EU states must give their opinion on in-depth merger probes before the commission can deliver a final ruling.