Vivendi Making Concessions To Buy BMG Publishing
March 15, 2007 at 12:24 PM (PT)
REUTERS reports VIVENDI's UNIVERSAL MUSIC has offered major sell-offs to win BRUSSELS' approval for its purchase of BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING, creating the world's largest music publisher, a source familiar with the case said. The source cited ZOMBA and 19 SONGS as the catalogs to be divested.
The EUROPEAN COMMISSION, which regulates competition in the 27-nation EUROPEAN UNION, will soon send questionnaires to gauge rivals' and customers' views on VIVENDI's proposed sale of several major catalogues under the 1.63 billion euro ($2.15 billion) cash deal, the source said.
REUTERS was told this market testing might help VIVENDI avoid a Statement of Objections, a formal charge sheet from the Commission listing problems which complicate approval of a deal.
EU regulators have a JUNE 1 deadline to take a decision.
The deal has been opposed by IMPALA, a group that represents 2,500 independent labels, which contends the takeover would consolidate power into few hands and thus impede competition.