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Ditto Blog

US Indies group calls for American remedies for Universal / EMI deal

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 Billboard:

“[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.