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More Senate UMG-EMI Reports

KOHL & LEE  REPORT FINDINGS TO FTC: Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl and ranking member Mike Lee sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jonathan Liebowitz this morning summing up the conclusions of their June 21 hearing on UMG-EMI. While the letter presents both sides of the argument, and asks the FTC to review the deal closely, it doesn’t oppose the deal, as both Kohl and Lee did in their Live Nation-Ticketmaster letter, nor does it call for conditions or divestments in the U.S. In the missive, the Senators urged the FTC “to be mindful of the changes in the music industry in the last decade, particularly the shift to online distribution as the preferred way consumers purchase music,” and that “Digital services also significantly lower the cost of manufacturing and distributing music, which can lead to lower prices if passed along to consumers.”  Said a UMG spokesperson: “Since our proposed acquisition was announced, we have expected a thorough and rigorous review of UMG’s acquisition of EMI from regulators in the United States. We appreciate the points raised in the joint letter from Chairman Kohl and Ranking Member Lee, as well as the Committee’s recognition of the historic changes in the music industry over the past decade. Since this deal was announced, we have worked closely with the Federal Trade Commission to address many of these issues, and will continue to do so. Our investment in EMI will create more opportunities for new and established artists, expand music output and consumer choice, and support new digital services. We remain confident of earning regulatory approval.” (8/3a) 

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