Vivendi’s purchase of BMG Music clears first regulatory hurdle

December 2006

Music publishing

The Federal Trade Commission and the US Justice Department have both given the green light for Vivendi Universal to acquire BMG Music Publishing FiveEight magazine reported. The acquisition now needs the approval of the European Union’s regulators who are due to make their decision by the 8th December. Independent label trade association IMPALA is rounding up its independent label members to oppose the tie up. With the Sony BMG merger under scrutiny following the European Court Of First Instance’s ruling on the flaws in the EC’s approval of that merger, IMPALA clearly believes there is a strong chance that the EC may block the Vivendi/BMG Music Publishing marriage. The E1.6B deal would create the single biggest publishing entity in the world. Based on 2005 figures, a combined BMG Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing would control 25.7% of the market, far ahead of EMI Music Publishing’s 16.7% and Warner/Chappell’s 15.1%. 

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