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IMPALA BUCKING OVER
SONY-BMG APPROVAL
Euro Indie Labels Scandalized Over
Monti’s Reported Decision
It may not be formal yet, and may not be until mid-to-late July, but European Commission chief Mario Monti’s reported decision to clear Sony and BMG’s proposed recorded-music joint venture without asking for concessions continues to incur the wrath of Europe’s independent record labels.

Indie-label trade organization Impala President Michel Lambot said in a statement, “If the EC wants to understand why no one turns out to vote in the European elections, it need look no further. Any turnaround would do nothing to counter the image that the EC's agenda is dictated by giant commercial interests rather than the interests of European citizens.”

Further, Lambot continued, “It is Monti's responsibility to correct this, and we will use all options open to us to ensure that this happens,” apparently referring to Impala’s previous threats to initiate a lawsuit to block the merger if the EC failed to do so.

Impala VP Patrick Zelnik took a more subtle approach, saying, “The merger parties blackmailed the Commission by threatening to pull out of local markets and local artists. If this merger goes through, there will be no future for European artists and European companies. The whole affair is completely scandalous. What is the point of having an antitrust watchdog if the market is left unrestrained?”

The independent labels are characterizing the EC’s ruling on Sony-BMG as its last chance to make sure European Union antitrust policy doesn’t let down European artists, companies and consumers.
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