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According to published reports, both Universal and EMI are considering filing objections to the merger over "vertical links," such as preferential treatment for the new music group from Bertelsmann’s TV interests or Sony’s electronic division.

SONY-BMG UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Some Sort of Decision From EC in a Month
Let the games begin.

The European Commission has been officially notified of Sony and BMG’s merger plans. That notification now gives the EC, led by Mario Monti, a month to approve the deal or give it a tougher, four-month review. A decision will be announced by Feb. 12. Additionally, the pact will require approval from regulators on this side of the pond.

Both European and U.S. regulators are expected to take a long, hard look at the deal, which would be a 50-50 JV, creating the world’s second largest music company.

According to published reports, both Universal and EMI are considering filing objections to the merger over “vertical links,” such as preferential treatment for the new music group from Bertelsmann’s TV interests or Sony’s electronic division.  Impala, the trade association for 2,000 indie labels, met EC officials Monday to voice its objection to the pact. The association wants Mario Monti’s crew to scrap the deal because of “collective dominance” and cites the EC’s previous objections to shrinking the number of players when reviewing the EMI-WMG merger three years ago.

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