Apple against Sony-BMG deal
Apple Computer says it's opposing the proposed merger of Germany's Bertelsmann AG and Japan's Sony Corp global recorded music businesses.
In the background is the news that European Commission is launching a full-scale investigation into it.
Bertelsmann said it wasn' surprised by the Commission's step and would co-operate with Brussels during coming months, says a Financial Times story here.
Sony and BMG also maintain the Commission should take into account industry problems such as internet piracy, says the report, going on that there was "much less of a concern when the Brussels body effectively blocked a similar merger between EMI and Time Warner in 2000".
The EC has been, "at pains to show its sympathy for the industry's plight. But the Brussels body is acutely aware that it could face legal action if it does not give due weight to substantive issues in the case.
"Apple, which has sold more than 30m songs through its US internet service, is understood to have expressed concerns about possible 'vertical integration' between the merged entity and its respective media parents."
Apple apparently declined to comment but "people familiar with the situation" said Apple had "forcefully" raised objections over the enlarged music group's selling power for music downloads and "potential favourable terms with Sony Connect, the Japanese group's forthcoming rival to Apple's iTunes," says the FT report.
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