Following Universal Music’s proposal last week of a set of
remedies that will attempt to placate competition regulators in Europe, the
trade body for the US independent sector (A2IM) has called for similar
regulations in America.
In a statement, A2IM said: “With no divestitures or operating
remedies propsed for the US – the worlds largest music market and home to the
vast majority of the technology companies who work with the music community –
the negative impact on music consumers and emerging technology companies is clear”.
“Such market concentration will diminish healthy competition,
providing one dominant market leader [with] damaging clout in terms of both
consumer pricing and the means with which music is made available. Approval of
such an acquisition with no US remedies will [also] further constrain
[independent music] resources. We continue to join our European IMPALA
independent music label colleagues in their concern over this acquisition and
reiterate A2IM’s opposition to this transaction”.
In response to A2IM’s statement, Universal said the following to
“[A2IM] clearly does not speak for the many indie labels and
artists who have come out publicly in support of the deal. There is growing
recognition that Universal Music’s investment in EMI will create more
opportunities for new and established artists, expand music output and support
new digital services. Barriers to entry have evaporated in today’s digital
environment and there are more ways than ever for labels and artists to get
their music out to fans. We are working with regulators around the world and
are confident of winning approval”.
This situation looks set to rumble on for some time, as the
structure of the music industry takes a dramatic shift.