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Sony-EMI Now to EC

SONY-EMI TO EC: The consortium headed by Sony Corporation to acquire EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 billion, partnered with the Estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development Corporation, Jynwel Capital Limited, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners and David Geffen, has asked the European Commission for official approval of the pact. The acquisition would put management of the company in the hands of ex-EMI Music Publishing topper Martin Bandier’s Sony/ATV. As it did after UMG-EMI officially notified the EC of their intentions two weeks ago, Euro indie label org IMPALA has voiced its opposition to the deal. The trade cited concerns raised by the EC the last time it looked at music publishing concentration over “the ability of large publishers to control prices, even in negotiations with much bigger players such as iTunes.” They also claimed the deal “would give Sony too much power over collecting societies as well as vital industry negotiations, such as the Cannes Agreement, which sets operating terms for societies.” Finally, they point out the acquisition “would reinforce the duopoly effect with Universal.” (2/28p)

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