UK And European Independents Appeal Sony BMG Merger
Independent music companies are appealing the decision of the European Commission on 19 July 2004 to approve the Sony/BMG merger. The Commission's decision was notified to IMPALA (Independent Music Companies Association) on 23 September 2004. The independents decided to appeal following a vote by the IMPALA board and consultation at national level, both of which showed overwhelming support for the appeal. This is the first time an approval of a merger in the entertainment sector has been appealed.
The independents want to address the market imbalance and play their part in establishing a fair and competitive market place. They owe this to their consumers and music fans. AIM (Association of Independent Music)and IMPALA members have already committed the necessary finances for the appeal to a fund which has now been made open to interested parties who wish to show their support.
The European Commission recognises that independents are marginalised and have increasing difficulty in competing. Its decision to approve the merger goes against this and its responsibility to promote competition, consumer choice and diversity. When the market favours the strong multinational companies, anti-trust regulators need to address the market failures and also safeguard the potential of the emerging digital business for all players - large and small.
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