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VIVENDI, CANAL PLUS, SEAGRAM RESUBMIT EU REVIEW

Companies Hope Speedy Decision Will Leave Time To Catch Marcel Marceau Fetival
Vivendi, Canal Plus and Seagram have resubmitted their planned merger for review by the European Union's competition watchdog.

On Friday (9/1), the European Commission said it had until Oct. 2 to rule whether to approve the merger or send it for a four-month in-depth investigation. That deadline will automatically be extended by two weeks if the companies come forward in the next three weeks with concessions to address any potential competition issues.

The probe into the competition aspect of the merger had been expected to conclude by Aug. 21. Earlier this month, the EU suspended its investigation of the $34 billion deal while the companies provided it with further data (hitsdailydouble.com, 8/9).

On Wednesday (8/30), Canada's Competition Bureau announced it had approved the deal, stating it would "not result in a substantial lessening of competition." Last month, Seagram said the deal had received the implicit approval of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The merger would create Vivendi Universal, a media giant to rival the proposed AOL-Time Warner merger. The Commission is currently subjecting that deal, as well as Warner Music's joint venture with EMI, to detailed merger reviews.

Two weeks ago, the companies received detailed "statements of objection" which expressed the EU's concerns that the deals could reduce music publishing and digital delivery competition to just four firms in Western Europe.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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