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WMG, IMPALA Ink Pact to Aid Indies

WMG AND IMPALA SMOKE PEACE PIPE: Warner Music Group has struck what is being termed “a landmark agreement” with Euro indie coalitions IMPALA and Merlin to "strengthen the independent label sector." The pact arose out of the EU regulatory process, in which WMG joined several of the IMPALA board members in opposing UMG’s acquisition of EMI, which resulted in significant divestitures. WMG picked up one of those spun-off properties, Parlophone Label Group, for $765 million, subject to regulatory approval and consultation with the works council of EMI Music France. The agreement aims to “bring more scale into the independent sector through an opportunity to buy, license or distribute a significant portion of PLG or WMG-owned assets.” Commented WMG CEO Stephen Cooper: “We believe this is an important step that will help to foster an environment in which the independent music community can continue to thrive and create new opportunities for growth, benefiting the music industry as a whole and all of its constituents. And these IMPALA antlers will look nifty mounted over my fireplace.” (2/19p)

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