Europe’s songwriters seek to block Sony Music takeover

December 2018

COMPETITION / COPYRIGHT: The European Composer & Songwriter Alliance has joined the increasing clamour urging the  European Commission to block Sony’s plans to take complete control of EMI Music Publishing. The organisation -says that Sony’s proposed deals would “threaten competition in the licensing market, endanger music authors’ revenues across the EU and ultimately jeopardise cultural diversity in the European music landscape”. Other vpices who have argued against the merger include UK songwriter organisation BASCA and pan-European indie music companies trade group IMPALA 

Under the proposed new deal, Sony would have complete control of the EMI repertoire and could fully merge the Sony/ATV and EMI music publishing businesses into its own, making Sony the biggest music publisher in the world – sitting alongside the second biggest recorded music company, (Sony Music).

The ECSA’s President, Alfons Karabuda said: “We believe that allowing such a major and dominant publisher in the market is not only detrimental to a competitive market place but will also lead to a net loss for Europe’s culturally diverse music landscape. If approved, such a deal can only further exacerbate the domination of the top Anglo-American repertoire to the detriment of millions of music authors’ works that are very often not exploited nor promoted by major publishers”. Karabuda also raised concerns about the impact Sony’s EMI deals could have on the collective licensing system in Europe saying “Major music publishers are already increasingly withdrawing their rights from CMOs and exercise a considerable pressure over them, with detrimental impacts on music authors’ revenues. If approved, the ‘de facto’ creation of the biggest publisher in the world will further dismantle the collective management of rights which benefits hundreds of thousands music authors” and added “We urge the European Commission to block the deal and thus make the right choice for music author’s rights and a competitive and culturally diverse European music landscape”.

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