European Court Annuls SONY/BMG Merger
In a landmark ruling which will set important legal and political precedents, the European Union's Court of First Instance has overturned the European Commission's 2004 authorisation of the Sony/BMG music merger.
The Luxembourg Court pointed out that the Commission's analysis of the Sony BMG case was left wanting in various fundamental respects. It contained a series of legal and economic errors which renders the decision null and void.
The Commission waved the merger through unconditionally in 2004, creating the world's second largest music company and putting 80% of the worldwide music market into the hands of four media conglomerates. This was despite widespread industry objection and previous market assessments that further concentration could not be tolerated. The independents highlighted a catalogue of fundamental mistakes which left the Court in no doubt that it had to overturn the Commission's approval. The Court also ordered the Commission to pay three quarters of IMPALA's costs.
This is a victory for music and cultural diversity. It is the start of market recovery. The independents take the view that the judgement underlines the need for any assessment of mergers in creative sectors to take into account the economic, social and cultural specificities of markets. IMPALA also emphasises that a review of the merger process in terms of the rights of third party market operators is required. IMPALA had made the case to the Court that the merger clearance process is biased towards large corporations and lacks transparency. Third parties who oppose a merger have few rights compared to the notifying parties. They also have extremely limited access to the Commission's file. This makes proper decision making is very difficult.
The parties will now have to consider their options. An appeal to the EU's highest court, also in Luxembourg, would be difficult as it can only be made on grounds of law. The merger will go back to the Commission but the independents believe that the problems highlighted by the Court right across the music market are too fundamental to be repaired. Without competition clearance Sony/BMG would have to dismantle.
The Court's ruling will also thwart any other attempts to merge such as between EMI and Warner. It now looks extremely unlikely that they would obtain the competition clearances necessary. IMPALA will continue to oppose any further concentration.
Related News from Mi2N:
» European Court Annuls SONY/BMG Merger
» indieOn Connects Music to the Blockchain
» 13 Music Label Sold to MTN
» Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records
» ASCAP Revenues Top $1.144 Billion In 2017
» BMG Appoints New Creative Directors In Nashville
News Beat Directory
» [2018-09-16] Live Nation Electronic Asia Inks Deal With Budweiser For Creamfields Festivals; Together, Creamfields And Budweiser Will Focus On Building Entirely New Content For Dedicated Electronic Music Fans Throughout Asia
» [2018-08-23] Andy Ma Appointed Warner Music China CEO; Andy Ma Has Also Been Appointed EVP, Commercial And Business Development For Greater China
» [2018-08-23] IndieOn Connects Music To The Blockchain; IndieOn Is Confident Of Creating A "music Miner" Who Listens More And Grow Their Token Value
» [2018-06-23] The 2018 MIDEM Silk Road International Music Alliance Signing; International Music Industries Signing Of A Mutual Resource Sharing Agreement With Shanghai Conservatory Of Music & The China Records Group
» [2018-06-06] Screen Music Connect To Explore The Music Of Film, Television And Interactive Media; Created By James Hannigan, Award-winning Composer And Game Music Connect Co-founder, Screen Music Connect Builds On The Success Of The Sold-out Game Music Conferences
» [2018-06-05] Fred Casimir To Develop BMG's Global Recordings Business; As Well As Building BMG's European Infrastructure, Casimir Was Instrumental In Developing BMG's Recordings Business
» [2018-06-03] 13 Music Label Sold To MTN; DSN Music Spins Off Record Label To Albuquerque Music Entrepreneur's New Group
» [2018-06-02] CISAC 2018 Annual Report; A Comprehensive Overview Of The Confederation's Work To Serve 4 Million Creators And 239 Authors Societies Across The World
» [2018-06-02] MusicDish Announces A Love Electric 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Crisscross Through China With 12 Shows In 8 Cities, Including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Kunming, Jiaxin, Wuhan And Beijing
» [2018-06-02] Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records; Renowned U.K. Music Executive To Join Universal Music Group's U.S. Label Leadership
» [2018-05-17] Avant-Garde Label Maybe Noise Launches In Beijing; The Official Launch Will Be On May 26 At Magnet Theater With A Performance Supporting Its First Vinyl Release: Píng Zč
» [2018-05-04] Award-Winning Lithuanian Rock Band Colours Of Bubbles "She Is The Darkness" 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Kickoff In Shanghai Where The Band Will Represent Lithuania During The Country's Signing To The Silk Road Music Alliance
follow MusicDish on