Saturday, 24 March 2012


The European Commission has launched a probe into whether the takeover of UK music firm EMI by Universal Music breaks competition rules.

In November, EMI sold its recorded music unit for £1.2bn ($1.9bn) to Universal. But the Commission said the sale could "reduce competition in the recorded music market".

Sign outside EMI's London headquarters

EMI, with a history dating back to 1897, is home to artists including Coldplay, the Beatles and Pink Floyd.Universal is a unit of French media giant Vivendi.The Commission now has 90 working days, until 8 August, to make a final decision on whether the proposed transaction would significantly impede effective competition in Europe. The European Union's executive arm is particularly worried that its "high combined market shares in the wholesale of physical and digital recorded music" would effectively control the market.A Universal Music spokesman told the BBC: "We recognise the Commission needs time to fully review this transaction. We will continue to co-operate fully with them."

EMI's labels include Blue Note, Capitol, Parlophone and Virgin Records.Universal Music controls Def Jam, Motown, Decca, Island Records, Interscope Records and Polydor Records.


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