IMPALA Asks E.U. To Examine Publishing Deals
October 9, 2007 at 6:29 AM (PT)
Independent music labels are challenging what they call the dominance of the UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and are calling on the EUROPEAN COMMISSION to examine the sale of some publishing assets of the largest business group in the recording industry. EU OBSERVER writes the E.U. approved in MAY this year a EU1.63 billion takeover of the GERMAN music publishing business of BERTLESMANN MUSIC GROUP (BMG) by UNIVERSAL, making it the world's largest music publisher.
BRUSSELS set as a condition for the merger that UNIVERSAL -- which is based in the U.S. but owned by the FRENCH company VIVENDI -- would sell off important catalogues in order to allow post-merger competition.
However, the independent music labels, represented by the Independent Music Companies Association IMPALA -- are concerned that independent buyers may be excluded from bidding for UNIVERSAL's assets such as RONDOR UK, ZOMBA US and UK, as well as 19 Music, 19 Songs and BBC MUSIC.
"The [commission]'s conditional clearance of this purchase was intended to liberate a significant set of assets into the non-dominant part of the music community; we must ensure that actually happens," said MARTIN MILLS from IMPALA in a statement on MONDAY (10/8).