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Universal Music CEO Seeks Regulatory Approval, Envisions 'Manifesto For The New Music Industry'

LOS ANGELES (Hypebot) — Universal Music’s CEO Lucian Grainge has confirmed that his company will offer to sell off assets, reinvest in A&R, and keep EMI “as intact as possible” in order to win the European Commission’s approval for its bid to purchase EMI’s recorded music division in the United States and Europe. In an interview with the Financial Times, Grainge also mentions plans of spearheading a “manifesto for the new music industry” to aid in the growth of digital music startups as well as other big-picture plans.

This news comes as Grainge and Universal aim to reduce regulators’ fears that Universal’s market share would be in violation of antitrust laws, allowing the major to determine prices and purposefully select digital initiatives in an unfair competitive market.

“I’m extremely open-minded about working with the European Commission in the context of behavioral remedies as well as divestitures,” Grainge told the Finacial Times. Should the $1.9 billion dollar deal go through, Universal’s market share reportedly could be higher than 50% in some markets, while reaching near 40% in the United States and Europe.

As part of Grainge’s "manifesto," he envisions a transparent way to deal with digital innovation in a "fair and open-minded manner" and acknowledges the fact that the music industry has been slow to adapt to a changing environment. He goes on to also say that he sees “a new world, with new platforms, new entrepreneurs, where we can all come together and create value.”

As Universal heads into more meetings with regulators this month, it will be interesting to see exactly which assets Universal is willing to sell in order to make the deal happen.