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IMPALA Asks European Commission To Block EMI Sale

BRUSSELS, Belgium (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — European indie label trade association IMPALA has called on the European Commission to block the sale of EMI to Universal or Sony Music.

IMPALA has raised concerns over what it views as possible monopolostic control over the recorded music industry, pointing to the EC's UniversalBMG merger decisio, which noted that Universal already controls more than half the world’s music in publishing and recording.

The EC and the European courts also raised concerns about Sony’s market power in the SonyBMG cases. More recently IMPALA requested the EC to look into Universal’s moves in the live sector via its tie-up with Live Nation.

Universal had been considered to be out of the running for EMI, but reports over the weekend suggested that Universal might be preparing a bid for the troubled label group. Sony is still in a contender for EMI's publishing operation.

"We have always said our position is no mergers without remedies and we know from 2007 that it is possible to find a solution which is far-reaching enough. Our problem with Universal, however, is that we believe it is simply too big already to be allowed to gain more power and we have the same concerns over Sony buying EMI publishing. Making such a duopoly more powerful goes completely against the basic principles of competition in cultural markets," wrote IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith in a statement. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers