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UK competition regulator the CMA provisionally cleared Sony Music’s acquisition of AWAL on Friday, but as we reported, will await the views of interested parties before publishing a final decision by 17 March.

Some responses are coming publicly in the meantime. “Whilst the CMA has ruled that AWAL’s acquisition is not enough to substantially reduce competition by itself, it is part of a pattern that threatens to gradually erode competition and diversity in UK music if independent entrepreneurs continue without much-needed access to capital,” said Paul Pacifico, CEO of indie body AIM. “Sony arguing that even a hugely successful independent like AWAL would have struggled to maintain its position alone highlights the sector’s need for better support to scale-up.” A message to the British government, there.

Meanwhile, Impala – which had already filed its objections to the deal as part of the original CMA investigation – will be preparing an official response. “It’s a provisional set of findings, so we will comment in time for the CMA’s deadline of 4 March,” executive chair Helen Smith told Music Ally. “We remain concerned that this acquisition will have a negative effect on competition and of course for artists, independent music companies and consumers.”

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