Sony faces regulatory concerns in move to take over EMI Music Publishing 14 Aug 2018
Independent music companies have made a pre-emptive strike to oppose Sony's attempt to gain sole control of EMI Music Publishing. IMPALA confirms today that it has lodged concerns with the European Commission about the transaction, which it describes as "seismic'.
Sony's move would increase its share of EMI to 100%, after confirmation that Sony has also bought out the shares of Michael Jackson's estate. That would almost double the number of songs it controls, from 2.16m to 4.21m compositions. Combine that with Sony Music's huge recordings catalogue and Sony would be the biggest and most formidable music company in the world.
When Sony became a shareholder in the consortium structure which acquired EMI Music Publishing in 2012, the European Commission said Sony would control too much music and insisted on divestments. It only approved the transaction on the basis that EMI would be run separately and would not be combined with Sony's own publishing or recording operations. This was reconfirmed in 2016, when the Commission allowed Sony to buy out the proportion of Sony/ATV that it did not already own.
This deal would remove those safeguards. Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA commented: "It cannot be overemphasised that this is completely different to an ordinary change from joint to sole control. It's like seeking to merge two majors. That would never be allowed and neither should this. Sony's latest financial results confirm that "EMI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony."
One of the key areas of investigation will be the online market, where more concentration is likely to cause competition concerns. Sony's position as an indispensable trading partner for online services would be significantly reinforced. It would have immense bargaining power to leverage both publishing and recorded music markets, which it can now exercise without the constraint of its current consortium partners.
If permitted, this transaction would also harm collecting societies, songwriters and composers, and consumers who would face higher charges for music services.
"No music company globally would hold so much power. Sony would be able to dictate terms to online services, dominate playlists, control collecting societies and capture all key routes to market, at the expense of online services, competitors, authors, and consumers. This would be seismic." said Smith.
The European Commission will assess the proposed transaction once Sony submits its formal notification. Competitors and other market participants will receive detailed questionnaires to answer. The Commission will then decide whether the transaction would lead to a significant impediment to effective competition and if so, what it should do.
Helen Smith concluded: "Our view is that the transaction has to be blocked. EMI would have a better future as a stand-alone operation or combined with another smaller music company to make a more effective competitor to the majors. That would be the best outcome not only for competition but also for cultural diversity and consumer choice."
NEWS & PRESS
The UK ad industry is set to come together again for another fundraising music quiz extravaganza – all in aid of the Roundhouse Trust. AdLondonCalling was originally the brainchild of Spotify’s Marco Bertozzi and Vizeum’s David Grainger who decided...more
Sentric Music Group has signed Coco to an exclusive songwriting agreement. The Sheffield-born grime MC, producer and songwriter has a long-term relationship with the independent publisher having previously been on its flexible, 28-day deal. Following a performance at Stormzy’s Merky Fest in...more
Launches innovative partnership with Partisan Records to co-sign Laura Marling Chrysalis Records, the iconic and influential record company, is to be re-launched as a front line label, marking a return to releasing new music for the first time in over two...more
Alex James will host the ninth edition of The Big Feastival on his Cotswolds farm this August Bank Holiday, 28 – 30 August MUSIC:SIGALA, NILE RODGERS & CHIC, RAG’N’BONE MAN, ZARA LARSSON, TOM WALKER, MAISIE PETERS, REEF, MAX & HARVEY, NORMAN...more
The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard announce strong boost in sales impact and digital engagement in first week post-show
- Amazon Music Official Digital Music Partner reports "outstanding results" - Over 20m Views of BRITs Performances on YouTube so far - 6 of the Top 10 Global Twitter Trends and 600k tweets on the night - Sales uplifts increase by 28% for...more
PART OF THE INAUGURAL GLOBAL APRA MUSIC AWARDS HONOURING AUSTRALASIAN SONGWRITERS IN LOS ANGELES, NASHVILLE AND LONDON CATEGORIES AND NOMINEES ANNOUNCED HOSTED BY GEORGIA MOONEY TAKING PLACE IN LONDON ON 6 MARCH 2020 PERFORMANCES BY DANIEL MERRIWEATHER AND CHIARA HUNTER WITH MALI-KOA APRA AMCOS is excited to announce the nominees...more
Reservoir partners with PopArabia; Announces Spek to lead international and emerging markets strategy
Reservoir announces a new partnership with PopArabia, the leading music publisher and music rights consultancy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The venture will see Spek returning to his post as President of PopArabia and leading Reservoir’s...more
PREMIERING AT THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL 2020PRESENTED BY CMA+ UK TOUR ANNOUNCED Today, Live Nation is delighted to announce details of Next From Nashville, an exciting music initiative showcasing the city's rising stars, premiering for the first time in the UK...more
Vevo, the world leading all-premium music video provider, is expanding into Australia and New Zealand with the opening of a new sales office located in Sydney. Vevo has announced the hiring of Steve Sos, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand,...more
FONTAINES D.C. | NASTY CHERRY | GANG OF YOUTHS | CHIIILD | DEMOB HAPPY | THE MAGIC GANG | BEST COAST | ASHNIKKO | BLANCO BROWN | PVA | ALFIE TEMPLEMAN | LOLA YOUNG | PA SALIEU | LYNKS AFRIKKA | DREAM NAILS...more
Camdenâ€™s own Amy Winehouse, Madness and Soul II Soul all to receive stones on the Music Walk of Fame
SECOND WAVE OF STONES TO BE UNVEILED OVER THE COURSE OF A WEEKUNVEILINGS TO COINCIDE WITH BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC FESTIVALEACH UNVEILING TO BE FOLLOWED BY CELEBRATORY EVENTS The week commencing 2 March will be a monumentous one for the already...more
International artist management company YMU Group has appointed Sarita Borge to the position of Senior Manager. Based in London Sarita, whose appointment is effective immediately, will report directly to Iain Watt, Managing Director of the company’s UK music division. Sarita has joined...more
PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, announces today that their nationwide Talent Development Partner programme will receive support from the national charity Youth Music who invests in music-making projects for young people. Launched in...more
ORBITAL CONFIRMED FOR KEYNOTE AND AFTERSHOW PARTYPLUS EXCLUSIVE NERVOUS RECORDS LABEL TALKwww.brightonmusicconference.co.uk Brighton Music Conference (BMC), the UK's foremost electronic music and networking event adds more names to the line up for its seventh edition. The award-winning event will return to...more
The rise in streaming subscriptions and the success of French-produced artists, the driving force behind the recorded music revival
In 2019, after 3 years of slightly positive results, the French market for recorded music showed a sustained growth of 5.4%, with a turnover of € 772M, including physical and digital sales, record producers' neighbouring rights and synchronisation. These encouraging results were fuelled...more
Multiple Grammy winner Julio Reyes Copello brings Abbey Road Studios’ acclaimed music production education to America Abbey Road Institute, the specialist music production school at London’s Abbey Road Studios, today announced the next step in their international educational offering with the...more
The 10th edition of IMPALA's Album of the Year award goes to German artist Apparat, for "LP5", released on British independent label Mute. Apparat fought off stiff competition from a shortlist of 22 albums from across Europe. This is the second...more
Decca President Rebecca Allen has announced the promotion of Tom Lewis and Laura Monks to co-Managing Directors, Decca Records Group, as part of a series of promotions as the historic label enters its tenth decade. Tom is stepping up after a year in his current role of...more
BRITs Rising Star Award-winner Celeste is recipient of American Airlines' new music scholarship programme
American Airlines has announced the New Heights Scholarship Programme, a new initiative supplying three emerging British artists with a scholarship, comprising of American Airlines AAdvantage miles alongside Platinum status. The miles will allow the artist to take their career to...more
Flutin is announcing an investment partnership with SEGA, part of the well-known gaming and digital entertainment's expansion into new, promising companies. The investment will enable Flutin to further strengthen its user base in key markets like the US. Based in...more
Revered singer-songwriter and musician Neil Finn has signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with BMG. The deal encompasses Finn's entire catalogue featuring his iconic works with Crowded House including international hits 'Don't Dream It's Over', 'Weather With You', 'Better Be Home...more
The full line-up of British acts appearing at the British Music Embassy at SXSW 2020 has been revealed Fantastic new home for British Music Embassy showcases The British Music Embassy is returning to Austin for SXSW 2020 - this time at the...more
The Record-Breaking Artist Behind “Dance Monkey” Continues Her Global Success With Kobalt Neighbouring Rights Deal Kobalt today announced that Tones & I has been signed to an international neighbouring rights deal. Tones and I joins Kobalt for a neighbouring rights deal...more
Absolute Radio 20s will be available from Monday 24 Februaryabsoluteradio.co.uk Bauer Media has announced plans to launch a new radio station dedicated to music from the 2020s. As unveiled by the group’sPresident of Audio, Paul Keenan in a speech at Radio Days...more
As EU leaders meet in Brussels to try and agree the EU's long-term budget 2021-2027, IMPALA urges leaders to take a stance on culture in the negotiations. The President of the European council has suggested cutting the Creative Europe budget by 20% compared...more
Rhino Marks This Rare Achievement With New Collectibles Available Exclusively From Rhino, Including The Iconic Video On VHS And A Print Signed By All Three Members Of The Band “Take On Me” Is The Second Most-Viewed Video From The Eighties On...more
Built on industry-leading cloud technology, UMPG Window provides songwriters and clients with unparalleled earnings data, insights and analytics Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), a leading, global music publisher, today unveiled UMPG Window, a next-generation royalty portal that provides UMPG songwriters and clients with instant access...more
BMG has announced its next feature-length film will be the first-ever, career-spanning documentary on the life and times of legendary rock icon Ronnie James Dio. It is the first documentary about Dio to be fully authorized by the artist’s estate. BMG is both financier and executive producer...more
A night of discovery and BRITs firsts in a celebration of British culture Dave wins prestigious Mastercard Album of the Year Billie Eilish debuts her official Bond theme song Lewis Capaldi does the double with Best New Artist & Song of the Year Artists...more
Kobalt today announced a worldwide publishing deal with Issa Rae’s company, Raedio Publishing, LLC. The global partnership with Raedio includes creative and administration services, which includes providing guidance and funding on new Raedio signings, pitch Raedio’s writers, artists and library...more
US recorded music sales rose 13% in 2019 (see Business)
Chrysalis Records re-launches as frontline label (see Business)
Duffy reveals she was drugged and raped (see News)
BRIT Awards reports impact of digital campaign (see News)
EU artists and entertainers to need visas to perform in the UK (see News)
Spotify appears to be rolling out song lyrics synced with music (see Digital)
UK Music responds to Government policy paper on UK's immigration system, noting impact on musicians (see News)
BRIT Awards (see News, Comment, Features, Showbiz)
Music, gender representation and the 'pipeline problem' (see Comment)
Jamie Nelson and Gemma Reilly to steer BMG's frontline recordings business (see Business)
Andrew Weatherall dies aged 56 (see News, Features)
Universal Music denies accusation it is downplaying damage from 2008 archive fire (see News)
Universal Music Group IPO "planned for early 2023 at the latest” (see Business)
BRIT Awards partners with TikTok; Billie Eilish to debut Bond theme performance (see News)
Two ticket touts found guilty of fraud (see News)
Lewis Carnie to leave the BBC in the summer (see Media)
The 1975 commit to playing only gender-balanced festivals (see News)
Spotify launches 'songwriter pages' in beta (see Digital)
SiriusXM invests $75m in SoundCloud (see Business)
StubHub and Viagogo told to halt integration of the two businesses (see Business)