Sony-BMG Music Merger Sent Back To Lower Court
July 10, 2008 at 5:15 AM (PT)
The European Court of Justice has rejected a lower court's refusal to clear the merger of SONY CORP.'s and BERTELSMANN A.G.'s recorded music units, reports THOMPSON FINANCIAL. The ECJ, European Union's highest court, referred the case back to the Court of First Instance for it to reconsider the remaining three pleas it has not dealt with.
The ECJ made its ruling after the lower court refused to back the European Commission's decision to approve the deal.
IMPALA, which represents 4,000 independent music labels, opposes the deal.
SONY and BMG asked the ECJ to set aside the lower court's judgment of 2006 -- that the commission should re-examine the merger -- after an appeal by IMPALA.
The commission re-examined the deal, but approved the 50-50 joint venture for a second time without conditions.
IMPALA is appealing this second approval with the CFI. IMPALA said in JUNE it "believes the commission repeated many of the errors that it made before, despite the court's judgement in IMPALA's favor in 2006."