Saturday, February 09, 2013

Parlophone moves from one empire to another

As part of the deal to allow EMI to become part of Universal, Parlophone had to be put up for sale.

The idea being that if you take EMI out of the marketplace, power becomes highly concentrated in just three major labels' mechanised-hand-like-claws, and that would be a bad thing.

So, who has bought Parlophone, to save us from this idea that most of the Western world's chart music will be held by just three companies?

Universal.

I know what you're thinking: how does Parlophone being held by a different major make things more competitive?

But that is to misunderstand competition law: it exists not to allow everyone to compete equally; it functions to ensure that those who are already rigging the market play nicely amongst themeselves.

The Independent, by the way, thinks the key detail in this deal is something else:

Russian-born billionaire Blavatnik buys Blur and Coldplay in £500m Warners Parlophone takeover
Obviously, given the person paying for the ink and the Windows licences at the Indie, being Russian-born is rather more significant for that paper than it might be for the rest of us.


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