Months ago Sony announced it would pay $2.3 billion for a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing, its purchase of Mubadala Investment Company’s 60% equity interest in EMI moving Sony’s to a 90% stake in EMI, before buying out the remaining shares from Michael Jackson’s Estate. The full-scale acquisition of EMI adds 2.1 million songs to Sony’s catalog.
In August, the Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA), representing the European indie music community, filed two complaints with the European Commission about the forthcoming deal. Its claim is that Sony would unfairly dominate its European competition. Helen Smith, Executive Chair at IMPALA, noted the Sony-EMI deal is expected to “disrupt competition and harm consumers in an already overly concentrated music market”.
The European Union antitrust regulators are set to decide on the acquisition by October 26th. The Commission has 25 working days to decide on granting approval–Sony filed for approval last Friday.
IMPALA is set against the deal, stating that that the regulators have to block the Sony deal. Helen Smith explains:
“This is necessary to avoid long-term harm for consumers as well as other players in the music sector, from writers to streaming services, independent publishers, collecting societies and record companies. It also goes against key European objectives in terms of cultural diversity and SMEs and cuts across the EU’s digital single market strategy.”