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Sony, WMG shut out of bidding--FT

INDIES SI, MAJORS NO: Sony Music and Warner Music risk being shut out of the bidding for assets that UMG plans to sacrifice to get its $1.9 billion bid for EMI Music through the EC, as it seeks to sell to indie labels rather than its major label rivals, the Financial Times reports. Universal worked through the weekend on a package of concessions with the Commission, which wants to circulate the proposals this week. The delay has raised expectations that Universal will have to sell labels with revenues of more than the €250 million in annual sales it initially offered, as well as risk losing more prominent acts. Sony Music had been seen as a likely bidder for the classical labels likely to be put on the block, while WMG has put itself in UMG’s doghouse by opposing the merger. Several industry members and advisers told the newspaper they now expect Universal to bypass Sony as well as Warner. Instead, indie labels, music publishers, private equity groups and wealthy individuals are examining the assets. (7/23a) 

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