Entries Matching: UMGEMI
Today the European Commission and US Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) both gave clearance to the merger of major record labels Universal Music
Group (UMG) and EMI. The European antitrust authorities conditioned their
approval on a number of divestitures, but the FTC simply closed their
investigation without taking any action or negotiating any conditions on the
merger. On the whole, this is a major loss for the future of the music
industry, and digital music services will be bearing the burden of this
decision for years to come.
Reports today indicate that the European Union will soon issue its official final decision on the proposed merger between the
major labels Universal Music Group and EMI, if UMG divests a substantial
portion of EMI. As Public Knowledge has explained before,
Europe’s review in no way changes the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC)
responsibility to examine the merger and protect competition in the US market.
As the FTC continues its review, it must remember that the
consequences of this merger go well beyond higher prices for consumers: it
allows corporate gatekeepers to leverage their large copyright holdings as a
tax on innovation.
While much attention has focused on whether
European antitrust regulators will allow the major label Universal to buy one
of its competitors, EMI, the proposed merger has also attracted the attention
of US antitrust authorities in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Senate.
In the US context, this merger bears some important similarities to recent
proceedings like the Comcast/NBCU merger and the failed AT&T/T-Mobile
and AT&T/T-Mobile: Taking Over a Maverick Competitor
Today the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a proposed merger between the publishing divisions of Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing. Although the FTC did not release an analysis of the deal, yesterday the European Union released the analysis it relied upon when approving the publishing merger with several divestitures. The proposed merger between the Universal Music Group (UMG) and EMI record labels is still under consideration in both the U.S. and Europe, but a closer look at the EU's analysis of the Sony/EMI publishing merger only bolsters the case against the UMG/EMI merger.
It is hard enough to land a job in a profession that accepts applications. So imagine chasing a career that depends on getting discovered. This is the reality for artists who aspire to sign a record deal with a major label. The four major record labels – Sony, EMI, Warner, and Universal (or UMG) – do not typically accept unsolicited submissions from artists. And to make matters worse, if UMG is successful in its bid to acquire EMI, artists could face an even steeper climb to success.