Reactions are coming in for the European Commission’s approval of Universal Music’s acquisition of EMI’s recorded music division, with indie body Merlin quick to voice its mixed feelings about the deal going through.
“Merlin is disappointed that Universal has been allowed to enhance its market leading position – even to a limited degree. That said, the concessions Universal has had to make to get this deal through are significant, and must make this a very different deal to the one Universal originally envisioned,” says CEO Charles Caldas.
Caldas says Merlin’s concerns have remained the same throughout the approval process: worries that independent labels will be harmed by the new makeup of the recorded music industry.
“We now have to face the possibility that the digital market could be dictated and controlled by two super majors (Universal and Sony), which would not be a healthy outcome,” he says.
“Therefore, Universal’s enforced global divestments, including what appears to be the majority of EMI in Europe, must now involve buyers who can ensure effective ongoing competition in the digital market.”
More reactions as we get them.