The Independent Music Companies Association ("IMPALA") Reach Agreement With Warner Music Group
IMPALA confirms that it has reached an agreement with WMG which both parties believe will help strengthen the independent sector off-line and on-line and should go some way to resolving competition issues arising out of market concentration.
IMPALA has agreed to provide full support for any possible acquisition by WMG of EMI before the European Commission and other regulatory authorities, within the context of increased competition, market access and market recovery measures agreed between WMG and IMPALA.
WMG has agreed, subject to the closing of its acquisition of EMI, to implement certain important measures, including:
(i) behavioural undertakings to ensure competition and broad licensing;
(ii) recorded music divestitures to reduce market share and enhance the competitive scale of the independent music sector; and
(iii) substantial assistance to build the capacity of the independent music sector through industry bodies and the recently announced Merlin initiative, all of which are crucial to the independent music sector and which give independents full and fair market access, especially to the vital digital business.
WMG is the only major label to work with IMPALA to create a comprehensive framework of solutions to its concerns in relation to previous mergers in front of the EU Commission in 2000 and 2004, as well as the European Court of First Instance in 2005.
The independents expect this agreement to be the first in a series of agreements where the majors and the independents work together to meet the challenges confronting the industry and to create new opportunities for the independents.
IMPALA believes that the majors and the independents need to work together in confronting all of these challenges. The independents will continue to oppose Sony/BMG and Universal/BMG and any other music mergers without significant measures in place to counter the impact on competition.
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