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."

22 Nov 2019 | Press release

STOMP Independent of the Year Award 2019

Dutch trade association STOMP has awarded Charles Caldas Independent of the Year 2019 to honor him for his great work for independents in his role as CEO of Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent label sector. Kees van Weijen,...more

22 Nov 2019 | Press release

PRS Foundation launches the Hitmaker fund

A dedicated fund to support behind the scenes creatives  *   Behind the scenes songwriters, producers and music creators to receive grants of up to £10k to get to the next stage of their careers  *   Streamlined application process to access grants that...more

22 Nov 2019 | Press release

BST Hyde Park 2020

AEG GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS ANNOUNCE AEG GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS ANNOUNCE AMERICAN EXPRESS AS PRESENTING PARTNER FOR BST HYDE PARK 2020   AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, today announce that American Express will be the new presenting partner for AEG’s leading European festival, BST...more

21 Nov 2019 | Press release

Spinnin' Records Asia Opens For Business

Spinnin’ Records is strengthening its global footprint with the launch of Spinnin’ Records Asia. The dance and electronic music specialist is bringing its winning recipe of discovering and nurturing talent to this fast-growing region. It will also sign and work...more

21 Nov 2019 | Press release

British F1 and McLaren legend Ron Dennis CBE has made a major investment in the British music entertainment business ROXi, taking a 10% stake in the company.

- McLaren legend Ron Dennis CBE makes substantial investment in ROXi to combat small screen addiction with a home music entertainment system that gets families listening, playing, singing and dancing together- Investment gives the McLaren founder 10% stake in the...more

21 Nov 2019 | Press release

The Cause has found a new space to dance

After raising over £50,000 for charity and creating a solid new clubbing community within its North London walls, The Cause continues to evolve with a potential new home being tested for the first time this New Year's Eve. The raw,...more

21 Nov 2019 | Press release

Industry backing for Music at Work Week

The British music industry has backed the Music at Work Week Campaign - aimed at encouraging employers to enable their staff to listen to music in the workplace to boost wellbeing and productivity.UK collection societies PRS For Music and PPL...more

20 Nov 2019 | Press release

Music Industry contributes £5.2bn to UK economy - new figures reveal

UK Music’s inaugural Music By Numbers report published today reveals the key role music plays in the economy. The key facts in Music By Numbers 2019 include: - The UK music industry contributed £5.2 billion to the UK economy in 2018.- The...more

20 Nov 2019 | Press release

UK music streaming market could double in size by 2023

£500m bonus from innovation in services   New services and innovations targeting different music fans more specifically could double the size of the already booming music streaming market in as little as four years to £1.6bn, according to a report by consultants...more

20 Nov 2019 | Press release

P!NK crowned by Ticketmaster fans as UK’s ticket of the year 2019

P!nk voted by fans in the UK and globally as the #1 show of 2019Pop reigns supreme with BTS, Take That and Spice Girls making the top fiveHeavy metal band Slipknot voted as the Most Anticipated Event of 2020   Ticketmaster, the...more

19 Nov 2019 | Press release

Kobalt Music signs mxmtoon to global publishing deal

On the Back of More Than 300 Million Streams, Rising Bedroom Pop Star Inks Publishing Deal Kobalt today announced a publishing deal with singer, songwriter, and producer, mxmtoon. The worldwide publishing deal offers mxmtoon administration, synchronization, and creative support for...more

19 Nov 2019 | Press release

Paper Dress Vintage receives Arts Council England funding

London venue latest recipient of funding from Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage is the latest successful applicant to Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund. The leading Grassroots Music Venue has received a substantial grant which...more

18 Nov 2019 | Press release

Absolute Radio Launches A New Decade Station - Absolute Radio 10s

Bauer Media is unveiling plans for another station as part of its digital innovation product strategy - Absolute Radio 10s. The station will play the biggest tracks from this decade from some of the most-loved artists in the world including Ed Sheeran,...more

18 Nov 2019 | Press release

Proper steps up to fulfil global logistics for RSK

- Inks distribution deal for UK and Republic of Ireland plus logistical role for international partners- Adds an additional 11,000 products to Proper’s inventory and streamlines retail process Proper Music Group, the largest independent distributor in the UK, has inked a...more

18 Nov 2019 | Press release

Deezer HiFi Arrives on Mobile

Our Hifi service is now on your phone and web Calling all fans of high fidelity! We've just taken FLAC quality sound to every device. Wherever you are, Deezer HiFi is now bringing 52 million tunes to your mobile or web.  All...more

18 Nov 2019 | Press release

YMU Group Appoints Fiona McAuley as Head of Digital – UK Music

International artist management company YMU Group has appointed Fiona McAuley to the position of Head of Digital – UK Music.  Based in London Fiona, whose appointment is effective immediately will report directly to Iain Watt, Managing Director of the company’s UK...more

18 Nov 2019 | Press release

Flutin Puts Emerging Artists Where They Need to Be: In Music Fans' Playlists

  App boosts indie musicians via AI-powered playlists and engaging UX  Austin-based Christophe Lavigne had been working on his music for years, leading the rock band Arrows to Fire. Like a lot of indie artists, he'd done all he could, but the...more

15 Nov 2019 | Press release

Artist & Manager Awards 2019 - full list of winners announced

Surprise award for Stormzy, Tobe Onwuka & team #merky tops the biggest Artist & Manager Awards yet   - Nile Rodgers, Rebecca Boulton & Andy Robinson (New Order/Joy Division), Lewis Capaldi, Debbie Gwyther and Neneh Cherry all recognised at central London ceremony  -...more

15 Nov 2019 | Press release

MelodyVR - new shows

All shows available in immersive 360° virtual reality via the MelodyVR app for smartphone or VR headset, at   Khalid, The O2 Arena Global R&B singer-songwriter sensation Khalid invites you inside this impressive production, live from The O2 Arena. Energetic dancers, incredible...more

15 Nov 2019 | Press release

Hipgnosis Songs Fund

Hipgnosis Songs Fund was today welcomed to the London Stock Exchange to celebrate its successful admission to the Premium Segment of the Official List and on the completion of four equity fundraises since its launch in June 2018. Founded by...more

15 Nov 2019 | Press release

Bastille re-records ‘Can’t fight this feeling’ for the new John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners joint Christmas TV advert, ‘Excitable Edgar’

John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have teamed with Globe - Universal Music UK’s creative agency - to line up Bastille’s re-recording of the classic REO Speedwagon song ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ as the sync to their new Christmas advert. In their...more

14 Nov 2019 | Press release

Communion sign new band HONEYMOAN

South Africa’s most exciting new export HONEYMOAN sign to Communion Records for the release of their second EP, ‘Weirdo’, and reveal the massive first single ‘Still Here’ today… The announcement comes ahead of their first live shows in the UK, concluding...more

14 Nov 2019 | Press release

BMG to launch new label Modern Recordings

BMG today announced the launch of Modern Recordings, a label for new classical, jazz and electronic music, mostly instrumental but also extending to singer-songwriters. The label – the first new imprint to be launched by BMG since its launch in 2008...more

14 Nov 2019 | Press release

Bucks signs Soumik Datta to exclusive publishing deal

Composer and virtuoso Sarod player has collaborated with Beyonce, Jay-Z and the London Philharmonic OrchestraBucks Music Group has signed composer Soumik Datta to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal.Datta is a composer and virtuoso player of the Sarod – a 19-stringed,...more

14 Nov 2019 | Press release

Can anyone match Freddie Mercury’s legendary voice?

Queen and YouTube Music are challenging fans to find out! New Google built AI-powered singing challenge -FreddieMeter-rates how closely fans can mimic Freddie Mercury’s voice Take on the #FreddieChallenge now in support of the Mercury Phoenix Trust   “Bohemian  Rhapsody” is considered one of...more

14 Nov 2019 | Press release

More added to the ESNS20 conference program New additions to the conference program include from Robbie Williams to Eurovision, Agent & Festival panels and Deezer. These add to the already announced keynotes from Mark Mulligan and AWAL's Paul Hitchman and Interviews with the Dickins Family, Jonatahan Poneman...more

14 Nov 2019 | Press release

The Music Producers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Shortlist

STORMZY, IDLES, MARTA SALOGNI, NIGEL GODRICH The Music Producers Guild is excited to announce the shortlist for its 2020 Awards, which will take place at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London in London on 27th February. With names such as Stormzy, IDLES, Marta...more

13 Nov 2019 | Press release

AIM report explores the changing face of modern distribution

AIM (The Association of Independent Music) is launching a groundbreaking new report in partnership with CMU Insights today, that will provide a benchmark study of the music distribution market and demystify the 21st century digital music supply chain. ‘Distribution Revolution’ is the...more

13 Nov 2019 | Press release

Extra Soul Perception

Extra Soul Perception (ESP.) is a creative collaboration that brings together innovative artists from the UK, Kenya and Uganda for a week-long writing camp in Nairobi. The result will be an audio-visual album, documentary and series of events in East...more

13 Nov 2019 | Press release

International Live Music Conference launches 2020 edition

Second hotel site added as leading international live business event continues to grow2,000 live music professionals set to attend ILMC events across the week Organisers of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) have today launched the 2020 edition which sees a...more

22 Nov 2019

  • Coldplay to pause touring until concerts are 'environmentally beneficial' (see News)

21 Nov 2019

  • Grammy award nominations - strong UK representation (see News)

20 Nov 2019

  • ERA study calculates more innovation in streaming services could result in £500m boost (see Analysis)

  • UK Music report shows huge UK industry contribution to the economy (see Analysis)

  • Latin artists rule YouTube’s most-viewed music videos of 2019 (see Digital)

19 Nov 2019

  • Paul McCartney to headline Glastonbury festival (see News)

  • Taylor Swift drama rolls on (see News)

18 Nov 2019

  • ByteDance set to launch own global streaming service (see Digital)

  • Linkfire strikes deal with Apple Music (see Digital)

15 Nov 2019

  • Artist & Manager Awards recognises the team at #Merky for "immense contribution" (see News)

  • Taylor Swift calls out moguls Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta (see News)

  • Billboard compiles decade-end charts - with a strong showing from British artists (see Analysis)

14 Nov 2019

  • John Lewis Christmas advert with song unveiled (see News)

  • Spotify releases app on Magic Leap’s headset (see Digital)

13 Nov 2019

  • SoundCloud introduces self-service promotional tool (see Digital)

  • Facebook tests Instagram Reels (see Digital)

12 Nov 2019

  • Tencent Music posts solid third-quarter results (see Business)

11 Nov 2019

  • Grumpy Old Management accounts show £29.5m income last year (see Business)

  • Ticketmaster names its 'New for 2020' list (see News)