Reports from the Financial Times, The Telegraph and The New York Times suggest Virgin Records - home to the likes of Professor Green and Joss Stone - is one of a number of assets and catalogues that Universal execs could be willing to shed to ease European regulators' competition fears
The New York Times cites "people who had been briefed on the negotiations but were not authorised to speak publicly" in a report which suggests EMI Classics could also be sold by UMG following the merger's approval.
In an interview with the FT last week, however, Universal chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge seemed reluctant to hack away at EMI Music too much.
He said Universal would increase investment "in different artists and genres in different languages" and, although working on a "pro-consumer" package of concessions said, "What I care about is that EMI is kept as intact as possible so it can be reinvested in. One of the great dangers is that EMI is asset-stripped."