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Label News (more headlines) 08-06-2016

IMPALA Slams EU Decision To Clear Sony's Buyout Of Sony/ATV

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The European Commission has decided to clear Sony's buyout of the late Michael Jackson estate's shares in Sony/ATV.

This decision follows a preliminary investigation during which the Commission examined the views of customers and competitors.

IMPALA and others raised concerns that the transaction would reinforce the market power of the world's biggest music publisher, creating serious competition problems, including for online platforms and consumers.

Despite this, the EU has found that the transaction wouldn't change the current situation materially. This often happens in cases involving a change of ownership, which typically come under less scrutiny than other transactions.

Market participants had argued that this buyout is not a simple change joint to sole control transaction. IMPALA described the buyout as "transformative" and urged the Commission to open a detailed Phase 2 investigation and/or impose tough remedies.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA, commented, "This decision is clearly wrong. It goes against the EU's previous analysis of concentration in music, as well as the concerns raised during this market investigation. We will need to read the decision in full when published to understand properly why the Commission has allowed this transaction to go ahead - there is a fundamental flaw somewhere."

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