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."

10 Aug 2020 | Press release

First artists announced for ‘Passport: Back To Our Roots’   Elbow, Everything Everything, Public Service Broadcasting and The Slow Readers Club are the first artists to announce gigs for Passport: Back to Our Roots, the new campaign to raise money for grassroots music venues at risk of closure. The artists will...more

10 Aug 2020 | Press release

Record shops across the UK get ready for first Record Store Day ‘Drop’ on 29th August

Paul McCartney, Christine and the Queens, J Hus and hundreds more to release special edition vinyl product Shops prepare with bookable slots, socially distanced queues and a one-off move to same day 6pm online sales Monorail Music in Glasgow Wilderness Records in...more

10 Aug 2020 | Press release

#WeMakeEvents Day of Action Taking Place Tomorrow to Fight for the Industry

On 11th August, the live events industry across the UK will come together in solidarity to host a series of creative action to help save the live events and entertainment sector, which is on the verge of collapsing without financial...more

09 Aug 2020 | Press release

Dotty Charles will be joining Apple Music as Lead Cultural Curator, Black Music, UK and Apple Music Host

  As of September Dotty Charles will be joining Apple Music as Lead Cultural Curator, Black Music, UK and Apple Music Host. ""This really is my dream job! I started in this business as an artist myself so to be taking on a...more

09 Aug 2020 | Press release

Jazz Re:freshed teams up with MQA & Bluesound to bring annual festival online

  Some of the most exciting emerging and established artists are due to perform via YouTube and in hi-res audio to Bluesound’s international audience at 5pm on 23 August: Binker Golding Sahra Gure Steam Down Ms Maurice Golden Mean Jas Kayser Anthony Joseph Renowned music and arts organisation JAZZ RE:FRESHED...more

07 Aug 2020 | Press release

Charlie Sloth signs to Roc Nation

Multi-faceted artist, DJ, host and businessman Charlie Sloth announces his signing to Jay-Z founded company, Roc Nation today. This exciting partnership will mean that Roc Nation will oversee all of Charlie’s content, from his brand growth to Grimey Limey’s (his record label) output. Leading up to the...more

06 Aug 2020 | Press release

Dame Shirley Bassey has signed an exclusive record deal with Decca Records

Decca Records can reveal the signing of Britain’s most successful female artist of all time, Dame Shirley Bassey. With a career spanning seven decades, Dame Shirley is thrilled to have signed an exclusive record deal with the prestigious label, where...more

06 Aug 2020 | Press release

Apple Music to feature 'Tomorrowland: Around The World' DJ mixes from the festival's first, all-digital edition

Apple Music is keeping the Tomorrowland dance party going and bringing the most international music event on the planet into your daily mix. Starting today, Apple Music subscribers can revisit some of the biggest live DJ sets from the successful, two-day...more

06 Aug 2020 | Press release

BBC 1Xtra - Faron McKenzie announced as new Head of BBC Radio 1Xtra

BBC Radio 1Xtra has announced Faron McKenzie as the new Head of the station.  McKenzie brings a wealth of experience to the role, having most recently led the BBC’s first-ever Creative Diversity Xperience (CDX) which took place on 28 - 29...more

06 Aug 2020 | Press release

Have your say: PRS for Music reveals details of the 2020 PRS Annual General Meeting and proposed governance changes

Watch a video explaining the proposed governance changes here PRS for Music has shared information on its 2020 PRS Annual General Meeting (AGM), set to take place at 12pm on Tuesday 18 August, and is encouraging eligible members to participate and have their...more

06 Aug 2020 | Press release

Australian quartet Hiatus Kaiyote signs global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music

  Warner Chappell Music, the global publishing arm of Warner Music Group, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive administration agreement with the Australian band, Hiatus Kaiyote, covering all past and future work. Hiatus Kaiyote consists of Naomi “Nai Palm”...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Midem x Nyege Nyege 2020

Spotlight on the East African Music Industry   Ahead of a ground breaking 2020 digital edition to Uganda’s Nyege Nyege music festival, Midem and Nyege Nyege announce an industry focused component to the festival, bringing global players from the music industry to...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Transgressive Publishing and Warner Chappell Music have signed a worldwide publishing deal with Loyle Carner

As part of their joint venture, Transgressive Publishing and Warner Chappell Music have signed a worldwide publishing deal, for the catalogue and future works, of multi BRIT Award nominee and Mercury Prize nominated hip-hop artist and songwriter Loyle Carner. Carner broke...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Kiss hosts special livestream show on TikTok

  Jordan Banjo, Perri Kiely, HollyH, Ben Black, SurfaceLdn, Shauni, Donel, Ashley Banjo and more will join the stream on Friday 7th August   KISS has today announced that it will be using TikTok to host a special livestream show this Friday, following the launch of the brand-new KISS Breakfast showwith Jordan Banjo and Perri...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Hipgnosis acquires Debbie Harry and Chris Stein catalogue

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited (“Hipgnosis” or the “Company”) Acquisition of Music Catalogue The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, the first and only UK listed investment company offering investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated intellectual property rights, and its Investment...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

BBC Radio 1 to return to regular broadcast schedule with brand new time slot for Radio 1 Breakfast with Greg James

Radio 1 will be returning to a regular broadcast schedule on 1 September, marking the end of the temporary schedule put in place during the height of the coronavirus crisis.  Among a raft of changes, the brand new schedule will see...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Absolute announces deal with Earache

Absolute Label Services has announced a deal with independent label Earache Records. Absolute and Earache inked their partnership earlier this year and have been working together under the radar, with Absolute providing physical retail, marketing and distribution, as well as digital...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Virgin Media has announced the temporary return of its iconic V Festival for 2020, featuring headline performances from artists including Olly Murs, Anne Marie, Dizzee Rascal

 V FESTIVAL 2020 RETURNS FOR VIRTUAL ITV2 SPECIAL, WITH ANNE MARIE, OLLY MURS AND DIZZEE RASCAL ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINERS  · Virgin Media’s iconic V Festival is set to return for one weekend only with an ITV2 special broadcast over three nights...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Amazon Music Launches [RE]DISCOVER in Global Support of Artist Catalogues Across All Music Genres

The initiative kicks off with Bob Marley as [RE]DISCOVER’s Artist of the Month, along with more than 50 other artist playlists and exclusive merchandise  Marley’s iconic Legend album to stream in 3D Audio exclusively on Amazon Music HD later this year Amazon...more

05 Aug 2020 | Press release

Beer brand fights back on behalf of grassroots music venues

  FIGHTBACK launch full range of beers and ciders for music fans to support Music Venue Trust #saveourvenues campaign from the comfort of their own home. Watch launch video with Frank Turner here: With the help of popular singer-songwriter Frank Turner, Music Venue Trust today announce...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Ben Cooper Joins Bauer Radio UK

 He takes up a newly created role of Group Director, Content and Music, Bauer Radio UK   Ben Cooper is joining Bauer Radio UK in a newly created role of Group Director, Content and Music, Bauer Radio UK.This role will add further...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Download Festival 2021 headliners

Download Festival, the world’s premier rock event, has announced KISS, BIFFY CLYRO and SYSTEM OF A DOWN as its 2021 headliners, plus many more of the world’s most exciting bands in rock, punk, hardcore and metal including Deftones, KORN, Steel...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Andrea Corr, Imelda May, Una Healy & Gary Lightbody among the artists kicking off Hot Press Van Morrison YouTube Celebration

  On Tuesday, August 4th, Hot Press will launch 'Rave On, Van Morrison' – a major YouTube extravaganza to celebrate Van Morrison's 75th birthday. The schedule kicks off with Andrea Corr performing 'Moondance' – with a slate of marvellous performances set to follow. Here we reveal the programme for...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Keychange announces new ambassador and signatories in Estonia to launch Tallinn Music Week 2020

  10 music organisations, festivals and agencies across Estonia have signed the Keychange Pledge to promote gender equality within the music industry Newly appointed Director of Music Estonia, Ave Tölpt, announced as Keychange Ambassador    Since 2018, over 300 organisations have signed the Keychange...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music by end of 2020

  Over the past couple of months, we've been welcoming Google Play Music listeners to YouTube Music as they effortlessly transfer their music libraries, personal taste preferences and playlists to YouTube Music. Today we're announcing two important updates. First, YouTube Music...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

The road to the Great Escape  - May 2021

TWO DAYS OF LIVE MUSIC AT MULTIPLE VENUES IN GLASGOW ON 8-9 MAY 2021 + MULTIPLE VENUES IN DUBLIN ON 10-11 MAY 2021 LINE UP TO BE REVEALED IN NOVEMBER 2020   The Great Escape today announces the return of brand-new live music showcase The Road To...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Warner Music Group Corp. reports results for fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2020

  Digital revenue grew 11.1% or 13.4% in constant currency Total revenue was down 4.5% or 3.1% in constant currency Net loss was $519 million versus net income of $14 million in the prior-year quarter OIBDA was a loss of $371 million versus income...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Terminal V launch 'Connect' with Patrick Topping on Sat 8th August

Terminal V launch 'Connect’  A new multi-platform live streaming channel bringing Live + Virtual incredible experiences of Iconic Locations  Patrick Topping kicks things off live from the top of the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site Calton Hill in Edinburgh Check out the preview...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV and TwentySeven Music Publishing Extend Partnership, Sign Jimmie Allen to Worldwide Deal

Sony/ATV Music Publishing and TwentySeven Music Publishing, led by industry executive Barry Weiss and songwriter and producer Jenna Andrews, announced they have extended their creative partnership and signed platinum-selling singer-songwriter Jimmie Allen to a worldwide publishing deal. Since its...more

04 Aug 2020 | Press release

Arjun Pulijal promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing for Capitol Records

HIGHLY REGARDED AND INNOVATIVE EXECUTIVE TO OVERSEE MARKETING FOR FLAGSHIP LABEL Capitol Records executive Arjun Pulijal has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing for Capitol Records, it was announced today by Capitol Music Group Chairman Steve Barnett. In his new role, Pulijal leads...more

10 Aug 2020

  • Music platforms said to have procedural victory on appeal to a 44% royalty rate increase for songwriters and publishers (see International)

  • TikTok: Plans to sue the Trump administration; Talks to combine with Twitter; Working with Simon Fuller to find the next supergroup (see News, Digital)

  • Artists Rights Alliance writes to Jeff Bezos addressing unlicenced songs on Twitch (see News)

07 Aug 2020

  • Faron McKenzie to head Radio 1Xtra (see Media)

  • Presidential order prohibits any company subject to US jurisdiction from “any transactions” with Tencent Holdings; Microsoft said to be looking to buy TikTok’s global business (see Digital)

06 Aug 2020

  • Live Nation revenue takes harsh hit; remains optimistic (see Business)

  • Instagram Reels launches across 50 countries (see Digital)

  • Radio 1 to return to regular broadcast schedule (see Media)

05 Aug 2020

  • Warner and Sony report quarterly results (see Business)

  • South Bank Centre set to allocate just 10% of capacity for arts programme (see News)

  • Hipgnosis signs Debbie Harry & Chris Stein catalogue (see Deals)

  • Google to focus on YouTube Music app (see Digital)

  • Wisebuddah closes audio studios (see Media)

04 Aug 2020

  • Snapchat users will soon be able to add music to their posts (see Digital)

  • Ben Cooper joins Bauer Radio (see Media)

  • Round Hill Music files copyright infringement lawsuit against Believe Digital and TuneCore (see News)

03 Aug 2020

  • Music industry: "stand together to wipe out racism" (see News)

  • Indoor performances delayed until at least 15 August (see News)

  • Microsoft aims to acquire TikTok by September deadline (see Digital)

31 Jul 2020

  • Universal Music Group H1 revenues announced (see Business)

  • Dance music and events sector gains government access to support (see News)

30 Jul 2020

  • Spotify Q2 results show increase in subscribers and monthly active users (see Digital)

  • Nationality clause in the Mercury Prize and the BRITs angers artists (see News)

29 Jul 2020

  • Hipgnosis acquires Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins catalogue (see Deals)

  • Government outlines how Cultural Recovery Fund will be disbursed (see News)

  • CAA to make redundancies and furlough staff (see Business)

28 Jul 2020

  • Little SimzAJ Tracey and IMPALA's Helen Smith to be honoured at AIM Independent Music Awards (see News)

  • Deezer launches Black Culture channel globally (see Digital)