Martin Mills' turn for FT editorial

A STRATEGIC PROPOSAL: A week after getting one of the year’s biggest scoops in the form of Patrick Zelnik’s editorial in support of UMG-EMI, the Financial Times ran an oppositional editorial from Beggars Group head Martin Mills containing a wicked-clever suggested approach to divestments. “The proposed sale of EMI Music to Universal will lead to the creation of an unacceptably dominant behemoth and should, I believe, be blocked outright in the interests of an open and competitive market, of artistic diversity and of consumer choice,” Mills reiterated. “If, however, the European Union decides to go down the remedies road—hard though it is to imagine how any could be sufficiently constraining—my opinion is that there is one place they should start with possible divestments and that is with artists. If there is any adequate compensation and counterbalance for the creation of the controlling entity that would result from this deal, it should be that any artist signed to any Universal or EMI label, currently or historically, should have the opportunity when the companies combine to buy their rights back at discounted market value. This would create a happy single moment of opportunity for artists and allow those who so wished to regain control of their masters and utilize the services of the independent sector to distribute their music, thus strengthening the music community and mitigating some of the worst potential effects of the acquisition. Universal should not fear this, given what they have said about their motives and artist relationships.” (7/26a)

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