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Background: Today reports surfaced that European Commission has officially approved the proposed merger between the major record labels Universal Music Group (UMG) and EMI. UMG will be required to sell the labels Parlophone (except for the Beatles catalog), Ensign, Mute, Virgin Classics, Chrysalis, and EMI units in European countries. UMG has also committed not to include "most favored nation" clauses in its deals with digital music services. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is still reviewing the merger.
Public Knowledge's testimony to the U.S. Congress opposing the merger may be found here.
The following statement may be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
"Public Knowledge continues to believe UMG's concessions in Europe do not lessen the Federal Trade Commission's responsibility to protect competition in the US music market. The FTC should either block the merger entirely or demand even stronger concessions appropriate for the US market, such as ordering UMG to divest Capitol Records or the Island Def Jam Music Group.
"A merger between UMG and EMI would increase the combined label's motivation and power to stifle new digital music services and would create a new tax on innovation in the online music market. The FTC must ensure that this merger does not empower one company to dictate the future of digital music services in the U.S."