The Australian Independent Record Labels Association has criticised approval for the Universal/EMI deal in the territory as a “deeply disappointing decision.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would not oppose the £1.2bn merger last night.
Speaking to Noise11, chairman of AIR David Vodicka said that the approval “disregards the practical effects of combining two already substantial music companies into a company that will control over 50% of the domestic music market.
“The result will be dominance of both media outlets and consumer spaces by Universal Music, stifling the development of new businesses that don’t adhere to Universal’s requirements, and ultimately less choice for consumers,” he added.
Also speaking against Universal’s Australian approval for the deal was Merlin CEO of Charles Caldas.
“The ACCC’s decision is incomprehensible to me, and marks a terrible day for Australian music consumers,” he told Noise11.
“If this transaction goes through unchallenged, we can only see those consumers facing less choice, higher prices, and less comprehensive digital offerings than they should be entitled to enjoy.
“Merlin sent extensive submissions to the ACCC, raising serious concerns about the impact of this transaction on the digital market, just as we did to the European authorities,” he added.
“Given the fact that the EC, based on those same arguments, came up with an extensive statement of objections to the merger, I am astounded that the ACCC has seemingly blindly waved this through, ignoring the interests of consumers in favour of the most dominant player in the market.”