EU: Impala wants Sony’s US$2.3b bid for EMI blocked

According to a report by Reuters, independent music labels group Impala has called on EU antitrust regulators to block Sony’s bid to become the world’s largest music publisher with its US$2.3 billion offer for control of EMI, claiming the combination would have too much market power.

Sony announced the deal in May, the boldest strategy move by its new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, which would give it rights to 2.1 million songs from artists such as Drake, Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams, and Sia.

The Japanese conglomerate, which currently owns a 30% stake in EMI, wants to buy Mubalada Investment’s 60% stake. Last month, it acquired the estate of Michael Jackson’s minority share of EMI.

Sony’s control of EMI would give it the power to do what it wants, said Helen Smith, Impala’s executive chair. “The market needs big operators, but not when they are allowed to acquire so much power that they start to strangle it and squeeze out the independents who are the ones taking the risks,” she said, adding that 80% of new releases come from independent labels.

Full Content: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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