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EC prepares objections

WHAT HAVE THEY GOT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT? The European Commission is getting ready to send a list of objections to UMG-EMI, the N.Y. Post’s Clair Atkinson reports. "A statement of objections is going ahead," an EU official in Brussels said. "We are getting ready to move to the next stage in our proceedings," Competition Commiss-ioner Joaquin Almunia said Friday in a speech at a conference in Switzerland. "Ultimately, we will need to make sure that, in this already concentrated market, the company that would emerge from the deal would not be in a position to shape the future landscape in the digital music market to the detriment of users and artists." As part of its probe, the EC consulted other record companies and consumer groups to establish if the purchase of EMI would have a negative impact and flout competition rules. Said a UMG spokesman: "When we receive the statement, we will prepare a detailed response to the commission, which will address the concerns outlined in this procedural document. We will continue to work closely with the commission and look forward to securing regulatory clearance." (6/8a)

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