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Warner head ignites EMI merger speculation

Warner head ignites EMI merger speculation

Speaking to analysts yesterday - to discuss Warner's own poor financial figures - Bronfman was reported to have said that he sees no regulatory problems in a merger with the UK major.

Bronfman said, "We feel consolidation certainly is possible", although he also said he hoped that EMI would be able to resolve its current difficulties with the group's owner Terra Firma currently looking for an additional £100m investment.

Terra is also engaged in a battle with Citigroup after alleging the bank had given it bad advice during his £4bn acquisition of the music major in 2007.

Over the last seven year the two companies have been linked extensively by merger speculation with EMI rejecting approaches by Warner just prior to the deal with Terra, despite Impala backing a Warner takeover. And as far back as 2003 EMI bid for Warner only for the European regulatory authorities to scupper the $1.6bn move.

In the same analysts call, Bronfman also revealed that Warner has serious reservations about ad-supported free music.

"Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed," he reportedly said.

"The get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price strategy, is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future."

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