A2IM has called for a package of remedies for the Universal/EMI deal in the US following Universal’s divestment proposal to the European Commission last week.
Universal submitted a package of divestments to the European Commission on Friday in a bid to push its proposed £1.2bn acquisition of EMI Music past regulators.
A leaked letter from EMI’s Roger Faxon later revealed that the proposed remedies included Parlophone (excluding the Beatles) and a number of other labels and catalogues in the European Economic Area.
A2IM has reiterated its concern over the deal and the lack of a divestment proposition in the US so far:
“With no divestitures or operating remedies proposed for the US – the world’s largest music market and home to the vast majority of the technology companies who work with the music community – the negative impact on music consumers and emerging technology companies [of this proposed deal] is clear.
“Such market concentration will diminish healthy competition, providing one dominant market leader [with] damaging clout in terms of both consumer pricing and the means with which music is made available.
“Approval of such an acquisition with no US remedies will [also] further constrain [independent music] resources. We continue to join our European IMPALA independent music label colleagues in their concern over this acquisition and reiterate A2IM’s opposition to this transaction.”
In response to the indie trade body’s concerns, Universal responded with a statement of its own saying, “[A2IM president] Rich Bengloff clearly does not speak for the many indie labels and artists who have come out publicly in support of the deal.
“There is growing recognition that Universal Music’s investment in EMI will create more opportunities for new and established artists, expand music output and support new digital services.
“Barriers to entry have evaporated in today’s digital environment and there are more ways than ever for labels and artists to get their music out to fans. We are working with regulators around the world and are confident of winning approval”.