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Forbes Gives UMG-EMI Thumbs-Up

FORBES VOTES FOR UMG-EMI: With the EU ready to OK UMG-EMI tomorrow and the F.T.C. about to give its blessing, Forbes magazine jumped aboard the bandwagon, claiming the complaints of those who oppose the merger are “far too simplistic and ignore the market’s commercial realities, the labels’ self-interest and the merger’s manifest benefits to artists and consumers… Far from wanting to constrain supply or hamstring distribution channels, labels have an incentive to make music widely and easily accessible.” The editorial goes on to insist “bringing together Universal and EMI could create substantial operating efficiencies. More efficient A&R and production should benefit artists (and fans) directly. And with a larger catalog, UMG’s opportunities for pairing similar artists for marketing and concert promotion would increase, helping new and less-popular artists reach larger audiences. And UMG is in a position to breathe new life into EMI’s catalog with investment in human capital and artists’ careers that EMI simply can’t muster. Claims of this merger‘s anticompetitive effects are not supported either by antitrust analysis or the realities of this market. Regulators should let the music play.” (9/20p)

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