The European Commission revealed its plan to delay
judgment on the take-over of British music publishing
giant EMI until August.
EMI, whose artists include the Beatles, David Bowie and
Radiohead, is at the centre of two controversial takeover
bids led by Sony and Universal Music.
In November, Sony announced plans to buy EMI's music
publishing business in a deal worth ?1.9bn. Meanwhile,
Vivendi, which owns Universal, agreed a deal of around
€1.5bn for EMI's recorded music unit. Last week,
the EU executive pushed back its deadline for deciding on
Sony's bid from April 2nd to the 19th.
Music publishers claim that the takeover would give Sony
and Universal a combined market share of 60%.
However, both Universal and Sony, who are acting in
partnership with US private equity fund Blackstone, told
the Commission earlier this week that they would sell off
parts of their existing catalogues in a bid to secure the
Commission's approval of the deal.
Officials from the Commission's anti-trust unit launched
a detailed investigation into whether the take-overs
would lead to an effective duopoly in the music market
earlier this month. The Commission to focus its probe on
how the deal would increase the power of Sony and
Universal to control prices and other terms.