EC approve UMG and Sony divestments

June 2013

Record labels, music publishers


The European Commission has granted approval for the sale of the Parlophone Label Group to Warner Music. When it acquired EMI last year, Universal Music was forced by competition regulators to sell the Parlophone Label Group – which includes the UK-based Parlophone frontline label and catalogue, some more British EMI archive, and EMI operations in various other European markets – and it was announced that Warner would buy it in February in a £478 million deal.  Beggars boss Martin Mills told Music Week: “This is good news for the market, and goes some way towards mitigating the concerns raised by Universal’s EMI acquisition, which we are already seeing become reality. As the clearance says, the strengthening of both Warners and the independents, as a consequence of Warner’s agreement with IMPALA and Merlin, should go some way to counter the power of Universal – and the existing duopoly of Universal and Sony – to unilaterally determine the shape of the marketplace. The consequent strengthening of the independent sector as a whole should be especially welcomed”.

And BMG’s acquisition of the EMI publishing catalogues Sony/ATV was forced to sell has also been approved by European regulators. The sale was prompted by regulators after the Sony-led consortium acquired the EMI Music publishing business last year.  BMG also secured the sound recordings catalogue of the original Mute label as part of Universal’s EMI asset sell-off, that deal getting regulatory approval earlier this month.

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