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IMPALA CHARTS A SONY-EMI PROTEST
10/17/18

Independent music association IMPALA  continues to raise concerns over Sony’s takeover of EMI Music Publishing, issuing a study that reveals how big a monopoly the fully combined company will have on the European charts.

The European Commission is undertaking an initial assessment on the impact of the merger, which will include looking into control of national charts.

If Sony were to acquire sole ownership of EMI, the company would control, on average, around 70% of the singles chart in the U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden. The stats were calculated using the first week of every month in 2017, and involved identifying Anglo-American repertoire featuring Sony- or EMI-controlled compositions, adding tracks where Sony owns or distributes the recording and removing the overlap.

IMPALA notes that the EC typically investigates when control of national charts exceeds 50% — when Universal acquired EMI, the company had to divest two-thirds so its control shares dropped to less than 45%.

“These figures far exceed the maximum the EC has already established,” Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA said. “They reveal what we have been highlighting all along, that Sony would have a near monopoly grip over the charts. That would give it unprecedented market power over playlists, radio and other routes to market. This confirms the real risk of the transaction and the need for the EC to block it outright.”