Sony Music

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) is the latest industry body to come out against Sony’s plan to take full control of EMI Music Publishing. The deal has been ‘notified’ to the European Commission, which will now decide if it merits further investigation on competition grounds.

ECSA follows IMPALA and BASCA in calling for the deal to be blocked. “If approved, we believe that such an acquisition will threaten competition in the licensing market, endanger ultimately music authors’ revenues across the EU, and ultimately jeopardise cultural diversity in the European music landscape,” suggested its submission to the Commission.

Like the other protesting bodies, ECSA is worried that full control of EMI would give Sony a daunting catalogue of full and partial ownership of works, enabling it to wield more weight in its negotiations with digital music services. It also sees a threat to collecting societies in Europe. “Sony itself has stated that performing rights would be better licensed and administered by publishers than via the existing CMOs,” claims the letter, referring to pressure from publishers on CMOs to move rights out of the collective system. “If approved, the creation of a de facto dominant publisher will further exacerbate this trend and contribute to dismantle the collective management of rights,” it claimed.

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