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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."

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

AWAL launches radio show residency on foundation.fm

AWAL will take to the airwaves with the launch of a biweekly residency, ‘A World Artists Love,’. Each episode will feature AWAL artists and the series kicks off today with Franc Moody. Episodes will explore the sonic lineage of a different...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

Nominations announced for the The Ivors 2019

The Ivors Academy have announced the nominations for The Ivors 2019. The winners will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on 23rd May. The Ivors, now in their 64th year, celebrate, honour...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

BMG promotes Marian Wolf to VP, Global Writer Services & China

BMG is proud to announce the promotion ofMarian Wolf to Vice President, Global Writer Services & China. Based in Los Angeles, Wolf will now lead the day-to-day operations of BMG's Global Writer Services for the international publishing roster. He continues to...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

All-Party Music Group hits century mark as Lord Grade becomes 100th politician to sign up

The influential All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music (APPG) is celebrating after signing up its 100th senior politician. Former BBC and ITV chairman Lord Grade took the Westminster group of MPs and peers to the landmark.Membership of the APPG has grown by...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

Fierce Panda signs Desperate Journalist for publishing as part of Bucks Music Group JV

Bucks provides creative and administrative support to Fierce Panda SongsRespected indie outfit Fierce Panda has signed indiegoth quartet Desperate Journalist to its Fierce Panda Songs publishing arm under a joint venture agreement with Bucks Music Group.The JV between Bucks and...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

Aimee Jessiman joins Tap Music as Senior Day to Day Manager

TaP Music announce that Senior Day-to-Day Artist Manager Aimee Jessiman joins the team from Modest Management, where she worked for many years representing Katherine Jenkins OBE, Astrid S, Diana Vickers and more.  Aimee joins TaP to work across day-to-day artist...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

New 2018 Annual Report reveals Help Musicians UK is providing more support than ever before

Help Musicians UK is providing more support than ever before to its beneficiaries, as revealed today at the charity’s Annual General Meeting by Chief Executive James Ainscough, according to the 2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements. Providing more support than ever...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

We Are Scientists to commemorate the anniversary of their debut album, With Love & Squalor, with a reissue of the vinyl and a short run of shows this autumn.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS ANNOUNCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS AND VINYL REISSUE FOR DEBUT ALBUM ‘WITH LOVE & SQUALOR’   PRE-SALE TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW: http://smarturl.it/WLAS_TicketBundles   GENERAL ONSALE THIS FRIDAY, 26TH APRIL, AT 11AM UK   New York’s indie cult band We Are Scientists will commemorate the 50th anniversary...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize now open for entries – and 2019 dates announced

2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize now open for entries – and 2019 dates announced Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show: Thursday, 19 September 2019, Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith The Hyundai Mercury Prize has announced its dates for 2019. The shortlist of twelve Hyundai Mercury Prize...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Townsend gains German chart eligibility in D2C first

Company celebrating its 20th year in D2CNew, centralised retail website now launched Townsend Music has become the first D2C company to gain direct chart eligibility in Germany. It does so as it celebrates its 20th year in the D2C business with...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Warner Music opens office in Peru

Warner Music has opened a new affiliate in Peru, one of the fastest-growing music markets in Latin America.  Warner Music Peru will be based in Lima and headed by Country Manager Angela Sarmiento Vera.  Sarmiento Vera is heading the operation after...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

CTM buys Ross Campbell catalogue, including hit Push The Feeling On

Successful Scottish composer and original Nightcrawlers band member Ross Campbellhas sold his publishing catalogue to CTM. Most important song in this music catalogue is 'Push the feeling on', released in 1992 by the Nightcrawlers, one of the very few timeless house music standards...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Brighton Music Conference has announced a Morales livestream and BBC Newsbeat broadcast from the BA1360 pod, plus Boiler Room collaboration at The Arch and BMC Beach Clean.

Brighton Music Conference has announced a Morales livestream and BBC Newsbeat broadcast from the BA1360 pod, plus Boiler Room collaboration at The Arch and BMC Beach Clean.   (BMC19) in association with Scan Pro Audio has announced that David Morales will be...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Nominations announced for The Ivors 2019

The Ivors Academy today announce the nominations for The Ivors 2019. The winners will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on 23rd May. The Ivors, now in their 64th year, celebrate, honour and reward...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Pink Sweat$ announced as Apple Music Up Next Artist

Up Next Short Shot on iPhone XS to Debut Exclusively on Apple Music on April 30Beats 1 interview with Zane Lowe premieres TODAYPink Sweat$ to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 7 Apple Music today announces R&B sensation Pink Sweat$...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

AWAL Expands Artist Marketing Team To Foster Brand Partnerships For AWAL Artists And Labels

Thomas Fiss Hired as Vice President of Strategic Marketing in North America AWAL, Kobalt’s recordings company, today announced the hiring of Thomas Fiss as vice president, strategic marketing, North America. Based in AWAL’s Los Angeles office, Fiss will oversee creative multichannel...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed Grammy-winning songwriter, artist and producer Mustard to a worldwide deal

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed Grammy-winning songwriter, artist and producer Mustard to a worldwide deal.  One of the hottest and most influential hit-makers in contemporary R&B and hip-hop, LA-based Mustard has worked with artists including YG, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Drake, Migos,...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Ally McCrae and Sophie Paluch launch new ten-part podcast series about the secrets of music management

“How Did You Manage That?” kicks off Wednesday April 24th - featuring an exclusive one-hour interview with The 1975’s manager Jamie Oborne (All On Red)Produced in partnership with the Music Managers Forum, and sponsored and supported by AWAL Available to...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

BBC Radio 1 to tour the North East ahead of Big Weekend

BBC Radio 1 will host a number of outreach sessions in schools, colleges, universities and community centres across the North East in the run up to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough.  Comprising of a schools tour, a takeover of Middlesbrough College, and a...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

IMPEL names Sarah Williams as CEO

Music and entertainment lawyer joins newly independent organisationIMPEL publishers had a share in 7 of the UK’s Top 10 albums in 2018 The newly independent IMPEL has named music lawyer Sarah Williams as its CEO.IMPEL (Independent Music Publishers’ E-Licensing) Collective Management...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

Silva Screen Music Group acquires Sirocco jazz catalogue

A welcome return of a much loved and respected Jazz label.On 1st May 2019, Sirocco will be joining Silva Screen Music Group’s highly acclaimed jazz labels, CMP and Hip Bop. Unavailable both digitally and physically for four years (including vinyl...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

Hipgnosis acquires catalogue from Starrah

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited (“Hipgnosis” or the “Company”)Acquisition of Music Catalogue   The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its Investment Adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, are pleased to announce that the Company has acquired a music catalogue from Brittany Hazzard, aka...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

Latin independent powerhouse Del Records enters into new global partnership with BMG

Leading Latin independent powerhouse DEL Records has entered into a new long-term global partnership with BMG. Under the new agreement, BMG will serve as the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for each of DEL's publishing entities DEL Melodies (BMI), DEL World Songs...more

22 Apr 2019 | Press release

Kobalt signs worldwide publishing deal with global DJ duo Loud Luxury

Canadian DJs and Producers Ink Deal Amid International Success of Acclaimed Hit “Body” and Over 650 Million Streams Kobalt has announced an exclusive worldwide agreement with electronic producers and DJs Loud Luxury, which consists of Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace. The...more

19 Apr 2019 | Press release

Allman Betts Band sign to BMG to release debut album

The Allman Betts Band have signed a new global recording agreement with BMG to release their forthcoming debut album Down To The River. Led by Devon Allman, son of founding Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and singer, Gregg Allman, and Duane...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

EU Parliament green lights bot ban in first move against online ticket touting

Landmark ruling is EU’s first action to regulate ticket resale Ticket resellers must also declare if they are a professional sellerPaves the way for further harmonisation of touting laws across Europe, seen as critical to bringing secondary platforms to heelMove follows...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Global music community prevails in winning the rights to the .MUSIC domain extension

DotMusic Limited (www.music.us) announces that their global music community application for the .MUSIC registry prevailed. ICANN will award DotMusic the rights to the .MUSIC top-level domain name extension and move to contracting soon. Other applicants for .MUSIC included global companies, Google...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Enjoy YouTube Music free on Google Home speakers

Listening to music on your Google Home speaker right out-of-the-box seems too good to be true, right? It’s not—starting today, YouTube Music is offering a free, ad-supported experience on Google Home speakers (or other Google Assistant-powered speakers).  Need a groove to...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

IMS Ibiza announces full 2019 speakers: Klas Bergling (Avicii's Father), Zane Lowe & Professor Green

Klas Bergling on the vision and goals for the Tim Bergling Foundation supporting mental health and suicide prevention Zane Lowe talks about Apple Music, its global livestream Beats 1 and the multiple opportunities within the service for electronic music. Exclusive Keynote...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Kobalt have signed legendary singer-songwriter and keyboardist Michael McDonald

Kobalt announced that it had concluded a deal with legendary singer-songwriter and keyboardist Michael McDonald. The worldwide agreement includes administrative, creative and global synch services for all of McDonald’s catalogue and future works.  Said Kobalt Music Executive Vice President, Business Development,...more

25 Apr 2019

  • Socially-conscious songs lead nominees for Ivor Novello Awards. (see News)

  • BBC to create role of Controller, BBC Pop Music. (see Media)

24 Apr 2019

  • Superstruct and Broadwick Live acquire Global festivals. (see Business)

  • IMPEL appoints Sarah Williams as CEO. (see News)

23 Apr 2019

  • Beyoncé strikes three-project deal with Netflix; Homecoming album plus Lemonade album now on streaming services. (see Digital)

18 Apr 2019

  • European Parliament bans bots that mass-purchase concert tickets. (see News)

17 Apr 2019

  • Spotify opens Research and Development hub in London. (see News)

16 Apr 2019

  • Universal reports strong Q1 results. (see Business)

  • Final adoption of the Copyright Directive approved. (see News)

15 Apr 2019

  • Hipgnosis Songs exceeds fundraising target. (see Business)

  • Amazon said to be launching a free, ad-supported music service. (see Digital)

12 Apr 2019

  • Entertainment One to acquire Audio Network. (see Business)

  • BBC Music launches on BBC.com in the US. (see Media)

11 Apr 2019

  • 7digital must raise more equity to “continue as a going concern". (see Business)

  • US songwriters organisation urges songwriters to "abandon" Spotify. (see News)

  • Daniel Ek interview suggests Spotify's move away from editorial playlists. (see News)

10 Apr 2019

  • Hit songwriters slam Spotify’s attempt to lower royalties. (See News)

  • Instrumental enters partnership with Coda. (see News)

  • Broadwick Live announce major new event space in London. (see News)