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“The Commission has simply repeated its previous mistakes. It has ignored the independents’ evidence on anti-competitive behavior in retail, radio and television, press and of course, the vital online market."
——Impala head Martin Mills
EU OKAYS SONY BMG AGAIN
Impala Issues Protest Over Approval,
Threatens More Action
In a ruling that came too late for Eric Nicoli, and presumably renews the longstanding hopes of Edgar Bronfman Jr., the European Commission has once again approved the 2004 merger of Sony and BMG.

The EC based its ruling on the conclusion that the merged company "would not create or strengthen a dominant or collectively dominant position in the music markets."

Said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes: ”This investigation represents one of the most thorough analyses of complex information ever undertaken by the Commission in a merger procedure. It clearly shows that the merger would not raise competition concerns in any of the affected markets.”

European indie label org Impala, which brought a case to the European Court of First Instance last year, was unsurprisingly up in arms at the EC's decision. The org's quickly released statement read: “The independents take the view that this is indefensible. The Commission has ignored major findings of the European court in favor of Impala last summer. The independents will ask the European Ombudsman to investigate potential maladministration… As well as a formal inquiry, there is the option of appealing, and a clear case for claiming damages against the EC.”

Impala Chairman and Beggars Group chief Martin Mills commented: “The Commission has simply repeated its previous mistakes. It has ignored the independents’ evidence on anti-competitive behavior in retail, radio and television, press and of course, the vital online market.  It is a lost opportunity for Europe’s artists and entrepreneurs. How can the EC demand remedies in Universal BMG [music publishing] and not in Sony BMG? This just doesn’t make sense.”

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