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Universal-EMI deal about to face EU statement of objections

 |  June 8, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the European Commission is preparing a statement of objections to block Universal Music Group’s bid for EMI Group’s recorded-music business, according to an anonymous EU official. In Joaquín Almunia’s speech given at the 19th International Competition Law Forum in St. Gallen, Almunia said that the Commission is “getting ready to move to the next stage in our proceedings. Ultimately, we will need to make sure that, in this already concentrated market, the company that would emerge from the deal would not be in a position to shape the future landscape in the digital music market to the detriment of users and artists.”

The European Commission is currently in a Phase II review of Universal’s proposed acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business.

An initial market investigation indicated that the deal would have antitrust implications for both Member States and the European Economic Area as a whole. Following the merger, Universal would have high market shares in the wholesale of physical and digital music–the merged entity would be nearly twice the size of the second-largest player in the EEA–and increased market power.

The Commission will make its final decision on the acquisition by August 8, 2012.

Full content: Bloomberg Businessweek > https://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-08/universal-s-bid-for-emi-faces-next-stage-in-eu-antitrust-probe

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