Saturday, August 04, 2012

Universal takeover of EMI hits more grief

In Europe, Universal are pleading with the EU like a dumped boyfriend trying to respark a relationship ("How about if I stop with the Parlophoning? Babes, I'll get rid of Virgin if you want me to...").

Now the EMI takeover is running into trouble in the US, with the Senate starting to wonder if it's good news. MediaGuardian reports on the meddling:

Senators Herb Kohl and Mike Lee, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate antitrust subcommittee respectively, have written a six-page letter to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz urging him to closely scrutinise the deal to see if it will substantially injure competition in violation of anti-trust laws.

The letter raises several concerns, including that the new combined company could threaten the development of new digital music services and that CD prices could rise.

"We believe this proposed acquisition presents significant competition issues significant competition issues that merit careful FTC review to ensure that the transaction is not likely to cause substantial harm to competition in the affected markets," the letter says.
Universal could always play the "hey, we already act like a monopoly - that's what the RIAA is for" card. But that might not help.

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