European Commission Set To Probe UMG-BMG Deal
December 8, 2006 at 5:50 AM (PT)
THE FINANCIAL TIMES reports the EUROPEAN COMMISSION is today expected to launch an in-depth antitrust probe into UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP's 1.63 billion euro bid for BERTELSMANN AG's BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING business.
EU competition commissioner NEELIE KROES is to make a final decision today on whether to launch the investigation, which could last up to five months. The report said that the deal would transform VIVENDI SA's UNIVERSAL into the world's largest music publisher, overtaking current leader EMI.
The companies argue that the combined EUROPEAN market share of UNIVERSAL and BMG in music publishing would, however, only amount to 22%.