EU wants Universal response on EMI by Jul 3 -source
BRUSSELS, June 21
BRUSSELS, June 21 (Reuters) - Vivendi's Universal Music Group has until July 3 to counter EU regulatory concerns on its planned purchase of EMI's recorded music unit for $1.9 billion, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Universal said on Tuesday that the European Commission had formally set out its objections to the EMI deal, which would combine its stars such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna with the British music label's catalogues including The Beatles and Katy Perry.
The 194-page statement of objections could put pressure on Universal to offer to sell some catalogues or propose improved licensing deals to rivals and online services to get clearance for the takeover.
A consortium led by Sony secured EU approval to buy EMI's separate music publishing business in April after agreeing to sell some catalogues.
EMI seller Citigroup Inc took over the record label after its previous owner, Guy Hands' buyout firm Terra Firma, defaulted on loans owed to the investment bank.
Last week, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia expressed concerns about the market power of the combined group, almost twice the size of its nearest rival in Europe, and its impact on the digital music market.
He will decide by Sept. 6 whether to clear or block the acquisition, which is opposed by independent rivals and competitor Warner. Universal could ask for an oral hearing to plead its case before the decision.
Universal said the deal has secured its first regulatory clearance after competition enforcers in New Zealand gave the green light.
"The New Zealand Commerce Commission today notified us that they have approved Universal Music's acquisition of EMI Recorded Music -- the first jurisdiction in the world to do so with this transaction," the music company said in a statement.
Universal will be seeking to convince U.S. lawmakers on the merits of the deal at a congressional hearing on Thursday, with big-name allies to back it up.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- More quakes jolt Iceland overnight, spread to second volcano
- U.S. strikes have slowed Iraq militants but not weakened them - Pentagon
- Modi to launch plan for every Indian household to have bank account
- UPDATE 2-Moscow courts back closure of three McDonald's branches
- UPDATE 2-Time Warner Cable suffers major outage; New York launches probe
Jan Dhan Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will promise on Thursday to provide a bank account for every Indian household when he launches a major initiative that could save billions of dollars in welfare spending and help mend strained state finances. Full Article