EU Delays UMG-BMG Merger Decision
January 11, 2007 at 5:48 AM (PT)
EU antitrust regulators delayed until JUNE 1 a deadline to rule on UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP's plans to buy BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING for about $2.09 billion. They did not say why they needed more time to look at the takeover.
If approved, the deal would combine the No. 3 and No. 4 music publishing catalogs, giving them a 22% market share and scraping ahead of current market leader EMI.
EUROPEAN UNION approval is the last hurdle for the deal, which was cleared in NOVEMBER by the FTC and the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT in the U.S. Officials had said they would issue a final decision on whether to block or allow the deal by APRIL 27 when they opened an in-depth investigation last month.
The court sharply criticized regulators, saying they had not done enough to show there was no monopoly in the recording industry before the deal or that there would not be one afterward.